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Common Issues When Applying Online


No pressure, but don’t time out. The online system will start over if the Web page sits idle very long (approximately 15 minutes). This might freeze your claim and you would have to start over to file your claim to continue.

“Back” Problems

Using the back button built into the browser will lock your claim so refrain from going back. Instead, please use the “Previous” button near the bottom of the page to go backwards during the online application.

Wages in More than One State

If you worked in Tennessee during the past 18 months but moved to another state, you may, if you are unemployed, file a claim for benefits on those wages earned in Tennessee. If you worked in another state during the base period but moved to Tennessee, you may file a claim for benefits from another state. If your background is working for companies in one state other than Tennessee, you will need to refer to the ICON Guide below.  The Interstate ICON Guide explains how to file through other states' telephone claim centers or the Internet. In some cases, your wages from two or more states may be combined to establish an eligible claim for benefits.

School Employees

School personnel who have enough wages earned in employment other than in an educational institution may be paid benefits during any regularly scheduled break, such as vacation or holiday, even though they have reasonable assurance of reemployment immediately following the vacation or holiday period.

School personnel may be eligible for unemployment benefits between terms (during a vacation or other recess) if they do not have reasonable assurance of returning to an educational system following the recess period.

Those who are not directly employed by the school system, but become unemployed as a result of regularly scheduled breaks can be eligible for unemployment if they meet wage requirements, and have experienced fewer hours, but still have an expectation of returning to full-time work when school is back in session (ex. Bus drivers or janitors who are employees of a contracted employer).

Avoiding Unemployment Fraud

An overpayment of benefits can be intentional such as someone who gives an intentional false statement, misrepresentation, or concealment of material information to obtain the benefits. It’s more common that claimants collect benefits at the same time they are earning money at a new job. It’s important that you stop certifying or report your income during certification while you earned it, and not wait until you get your first paycheck.

The department cross matches employee wages with unemployment benefit payments, and once fraudulent payments are determined, asks claimants to pay back these benefits. If these benefits aren’t paid back voluntarily, then the department can be repaid through IRS tax refunds due to the individual.