Need that extra 13 weeks of jobless benefits? There's a catch

May 19, 2020

Credit WMOT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne)  --  The Tennessee Department of Labor says it's ready to begin paying the extended emergency unemployment benefits authorized by Congress nearly two months ago, but there’s a catch.

The CARES Act pandemic relief bill authorized an additional 13 weeks of benefits beyond what the state pays in jobless aid.

Here’s what the half-million Tennesseans who’ve lost jobs to the health crisis aren’t going to like. You’ve got to refile with the state to get the additional payout.

The state’s overwhelmed online portal and phone banks are making it difficult for the unemployed to register initially and also to file weekly updates for the aid.

Here are the qualifying criteria to receive the extra 13 weeks of Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC):

  1. Have exhausted all rights to regular compensation under state or federal law with respect to a benefit year that ended on or after July 1, 2019;
  2. Have no rights to regular compensation with respect to a week under any other state unemployment compensation law or federal unemployment compensation law, or to compensation under any other federal law;
  3. Are not receiving compensation with respect to a week under the unemployment compensation law of Canada; and
  4. Are able to work, available to work.