Tennessee Unemployment

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File for Unemployment Benefits

If you want to file for unemployment in Tennessee, you must create a profile at the Jobs4TN website. Using this provides you with several options that can help you find a job, including a searchable job listing site and a personal job profile. You will also use this website when filing the work search requirement for unemployment.

Unemployment Application and Initial Claim

File Your Unemployment Application and Initial Claim Process

Filing for unemployment requires the following:

  • Creating a login, with a username and password that you will remember
  • Filling out the following employment information:
    • Why you left your job (lack of work, quit, discharged, etc.)
    • If you are receiving subsistence pay
    • Whether or not your employer said they'd call you back
    • If there is a return date within the next 10 weeks
    • Whether you will receive a pension or Workers' Compensation
    • Reporting any part-time work
    • If you filed an unemployment claim in the last 12 months and worked within the last 18 months
    • Whether you worked outside of the state in the last 24 months and if you have unemployment eligibility in that state
    • If you served in the military over the last 18 months, are a member of a reserve unit, or are looking for a job exclusively through a hiring union
    • How far you are willing to relocate for work and what wages you are willing to make
  • After answering all the relevant questions, you must fill in your employer's information, your personal information, and submit your application
  • Next, you must sign up for work search on Jobs4TN (as discussed below)
  • Certify for weekly payment and wait to receive two letters that explain your benefits

Understanding how to file for unemployment before you try it on your own can help you avoid making mistakes that might disqualify you.

Documents and Information Needed During Filing

  • Social Security Number
  • Driver’s license number
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Valid email address
  • Bank routing number and account number
  • DD 214 Member 4 if in the military in the past 18 months
  • Last 18 months of employment
  • Last day worked
  • Reason for separation
  • Employer’s name, address, telephone number, and fax number

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Claim Weekly Benefits

If your application has been approved, you still need to claim your weekly benefits in order to receive them. This requires reporting your job search online, filing any wages you may have earned, and submitting your benefit claim. Depending on the information you submit, your weekly benefits may be adjusted accordingly.

How to Claim Weekly Benefits

Login to your Jobs4TN account and click on “Claim Weekly Benefits.” Answer the relevant questions, including inputting your job search information (name of employer and contact information), as well as work contact information. Relevant contacts include:

  • Turning in your job application
  • Each interview (second interviews count as a new contact)
  • Attending a job fair
  • Any job applied to via the Jobs4TN work site

Next, you need to calculate the earnings you made over the last week. If you have no part-time job, just input “no wages” or “zero” in the box. However, if you have earned wages, you need to report all earnings you made during the previous week (Sunday to Saturday), regardless of whether or not you've been paid for them yet.

Those who would rather use the phone to claim weekly benefits can call 1-800-689-9799 in-state or 1-800-262-8094 if you are out of state.

Claim Denials or Discrepancies

Even if you believe you qualify for unemployment, there's a chance that your claim might be denied. This denial can be caused by discrepancies or mistakes in filing.

You must file an appeal within 15 days of the date the decision was made in order to appeal. You can appeal at the Jobs4TN website by clicking on “File Appeal” on “Services For Individuals.”

You can also file by mail by sending an appeals form directly to the Appeals Tribunal. Fraud, such as purposefully wrongly reported information from your employer, must be reported and worked out in an appeals hearing.

Appeals Process for Denied Claims

After you appeal your denial, you will receive a notice of the date from the Appeals Tribunal of your hearing by mail. Attend in person if you can, dressing in appropriate clothing. It isn't necessary to be extremely formal, but expect a structured and judicial procedure. Each hearing follows a simple structure, including:

  • Hearing evidence from both sides
  • Calling witnesses to testify
  • Presenting relevant documentary evidence
  • Receiving questions from the judge
  • Examining the evidence

If necessary, you can file to reschedule the hearing due to illness or death in the family or a job interview at least 48 hours before the hearing. All evidence, including documents must be submitted and approved before the hearing or you can't use them.

Phone hearings are possible, if you can't make it to the hearing for a suitable reason (such as lack of transportation). Filing appeals in person is preferable, as it is easier to present your evidence properly.

A week or so after the appeal, you should receive a mailed notification of the result. If you win, you will receive all missed benefits. Appealing a denied appeal requires mailing an appeal form to the Office For Administrative Review within 15 days of the decision.

New evidence will then be submitted to this office, and if they deem it relevant, a new hearing will be scheduled. Appeals to state and federal courts are also possible, but are costly.

Office of Appeals Contact Information

Appeals Tribunal

Department of Labor and Workforce Development

220 French Landing Drive

Nashville, TN 37243-1002


Office of Administrative Review, Legal Division

Department of Labor and Workforce Development

220 French Landing Drive

Nashville, TN 37243-1002

Fax: (615) 741-0290