NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — One of the biggest unemployment deadlines to date is approaching fast, but state officials say it won’t affect your ability to get retroactive payments.
The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation fund from the CARES Act, made possible the extra $600/week in unemployment benefits. The funding holds an expiration date of July 25 for all states, excluding New York. Meaning if you’re caught up on payments, you would only receive state unemployment money beyond that date, which caps at $275/week.
There are still those out there, be it a small group at this point, who are still not up to date with the unemployment money owed to them. They’ve certified for all the weeks they need to and continue to do so.
For some reason however, their claim is still pending. Lately these claims have involved wage protests or appeals that need to be decided on, before a claim is paid.
It raised the question that with the looming deadline for the FPUC, will people see the retroactive pay at all?
Chris Cannon with Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development says the plan is to continue to retroactively pay those claims with the FPUC, even past the deadline.
“As long as the claimant has completed their weekly certifications leading up to July 25th, they will retroactively receive that $600 in FPUC payments when their claim does process,” said Cannon.
Cannon says there’s still a lot that could happen between now and July 25, including a new bill to either extend or modify the FPUC. Congress has batted around several bills with the intention of extending unemployment benefits beyond July. The sticking point between both sides of the aisle is on how much to offer, while still encouraging people to return to work.
Programs like Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or PUA, will offer benefits to self-employed or gig workers through the end of the year.
“We know this most likely isn’t going to end anytime soon and many people will continue to depend on unemployment benefits. We have no plans on scaling back operations right now,” said Cannon.
In fact, Cannon says they’re continuing to hire more and train more adjudicators to process claims through the phone. They’ve gone from several hundred thousand phone calls, to just over 100,000 each day.
While it’s still a lot more than they bargained for, Cannon says they’ve managed with the help of new services that weren’t available when the pandemic began.
“We’ve opened up email, we’ve opened up live chat, we’ve opened up voicemail, we’ve added more agents to answer phones and agents who are qualified to answer more questions about claims,” said Cannon.
If you’ve already exhausted your state unemployment benefits, you can file for an extension through the Jobs4TN website.