Significant unemployment changes are on the horizon in Tennessee
At the most recent Unemployment Compensation Advisory Council (UCAC) meeting, state administrators said that the new employer portal will go live on Feb. 20, 2024. Employers should see greatly reduced times making their reports, saving up to 30 minutes per visit.
The state’s new indexing law will begin on the same date. This law will end the current maximum of 26 weeks of unemployment benefits and put the range between 12-20 weeks, based on the state’s unemployment rate (between 5.5% and 9.5%) with a semi-annual reset. NFIB supported the legislation, which was passed in 2022.
Employers also will see an option to report interview “no-shows” on the new landing page. NFIB supported this “refusal to work” legislation in 2023.
State officials also said about half of Tennessee employers never respond to separation claims, but that number is expected to improve under the new system.
Some new employers recently reported experiencing wait times of up to three months to receive their state unemployment number. The Employment Security Division moved personnel over recently to address the problem; wait times are down to two weeks or less and are expected to disappear in 2025 after a planned upgrade.
The state also has hired five new auditors, utilizing a $2.6 million two-year federal grant, to help address fraud.
Please contact State Director Jim Brown, who serves on the UCAC, with any questions or to report any problems with the unemployment insurance system. He can be reached at [email protected] or 615-874-5288.