Unemployment Issues

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- With unemployment numbers rising many Tennesseans are left wondering when they will receive any money.

“It’s been a nightmare…” said Isaac Kochenderfer.

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There were around 16,000 unemployment claims filed before covid-19 hit.
As of last week it reached over a half million.

Kochenderfer was furloughed from his employer in Portland Tennessee.

“employer filed for me…”

He’s not expected to report back to work until mid June.

“I feel like I’m not going to get anything at this point because I have made over 300 calls and I’ve gotten to a live person maybe 3 times and not a single one was able to give me any information whatsoever” said Kochenderfer.

The Tennessee department of labor and workforce development transitioned a portion of their staff into the unemployment insurance division to manage the extra workload.

“That was approximately 200 people there and since then we’ve hired another 200 people so we have about 400 more people actually working in unemployment to get through the spike in unemployment claims that we’ve seen over the last 2 months” said Chris Cannon of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Accurate information like your social security or your bank account is critical when applying for unemployment.

“If you enter that incorrectly that’s going to create an issue with your claim and someone’s going to have to physically fix those issues. That’s where we’re finding the issue because there’s just so many claims right now and you’re getting in line with thousands of people” said Cannon.

People like Isaac and his family… trying to make ends meet.

“We were one of the however many people working pay check to pay check. We’re struggling to get by and here we are as of now both of us almost 2 months without a pay check period” said Kochenderfer.

What little safety net the Kochenderfers had is long gone.

“going to the food bank…”

And still they wait for that first unemployment check.

If you would like to track your claim’s progress, here is the link: https://apps.tdlwd.tn.gov/UIClaimTracking/views/claimSearch.jsf