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Another approach would be for workers to use the firms that are cropping up online offering to file claims in the workers' behalf. However, I've seen some state unemployment sites carrying advisories not to use such services.

Tennessee does seem to be ahead of a lot of states when it comes to using technology to streamline their unemployment benefits process. The state not only allows initial claims to be filed online, it also makes it possible for working to file their Weekly Certifications and even their appeals online.


If you're looking for help filing for unemployment, DO NOT use one of those private online services to file your claim. They do not have access to anything you don't have access to.

Be patient and persistent, and work directly with your state system.

Rick Stark

I need some help. I filed for unemployment almost 2 months ago. They just denied me (finally) and I'm appealing it. I think I will win my appeal, but I have not been certifying weekly, because I didn't know I was supposed to do it at first. And once I realized I was suppose to, I don't have regular computer access, so I tried to do it over the phone, and I cannot get through. I was eventually able to do it online, but I didn't know my pin number or whatever, so I guessed a couple times, and now it's locked. I still can't get through on the phone to get any help. I've been 2 months without any income! What can I do!?


Each state is different, Rick, and I don't know the specifics in yours.

Most states are overloaded with more unemployment applicants than their staff can handle. It's very hard to get through by phone in many of them.

Be persistent with your appeal, and in your effort to reach them.

If you're in Tennessee, you might try going to your local Career Center (http://www.tennessee.gov/labor-wfd/claimhelp.htm#CC) when they're having one of these mass claim sessions to see if they can help.

Good luck.


man this is terrible, I lost my job 6 months ago, and after many months finally decided I should file. I got right in on the phone and set it up. I started calling in weekly and have been for 5 weeks and haven't received the first check. My bills are falling behind, I'm ruining my credit...totally freaking out now :( I just started a new job but it will be two weeks before I get a paycheck and it's already spent and then some. I've been calling the Tennessee unemployment numbers non stop for weeks and all the automated system can tell me is the status is "pending" i cannot get a live person and most of the time the systems says "sorry we're busy" and will not allow you to hold so you have to call again, go through 5 menu items only to be told "sorry we're busy" :( I don't know what the hell to do

- Chris

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