Everything you need to know about unemployment, stimulus payments, and more

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — An estimated 80 million Americans have had a stimulus payment deposited into their checking accounts in April as part of the economic stimulus plan passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump last month.

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The Stimulus Bill

How much money will people be getting from the stimulus bill?

Note: The amount the check will be is be based on your 2019 tax return if it has been filed, or your 2018 tax return if you have not yet filed this year.

  • Those filing income tax returns as “single” with adjusted gross incomes up to $75,000 a year will be eligible for a $1,200 check. The payment amount drops by $5 for every $100 in income above $75,000.
  • Those who file as “married filing jointly” can receive a check for $2,400 check if their adjusted gross income was below $150,000. Married couples will get checks on a sliding scale up to $198,000. Married couples will also receive $500 for each child they claimed on their tax return.
  • If you filed as “head of household” you are eligible for a $1,200 check and $500 for each child you claimed if your adjusted gross income was $112,500 or less. You can receive a check on a sliding scale if you earn up to $136,500 annually. Those who file “head of household” are typically single parents).
  • If you receive a Social Security check and do not exceed the income limits above, you are eligible to receive the coronavirus relief check.

If you receive a Social Security check and do not make enough money to require you to file a tax return, you will still receive a check as long as you received an SSA-1099 form. The form is sent annually and includes your Social Security benefits statement.

The check will be delivered to you via the usual way you get your Social Security payment. People who receive disability checks from Social Security are eligible for the special payment.

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The checks will be directly deposited into bank accounts, and some have already distributed if you included direct deposit information on your tax form. If you did not, your check will be mailed to you.

Calculate how much money you’re going to receive here.

Here’s how you can track the status of your stimulus payment

You can now check the status of your economic impact payment or stimulus payment.

The IRS has launched the Get My Payment tool from which users can track their payments.

The website will give you information about: your payment status; payment type and whether the IRS needs more information, such as your bank account information.

Click here to track the status of your payment.

Is there just one payment?

Right now, there is only one payment planned. But future bills could offer additional payments, the White House said.

Do you have to apply to receive a payment?

No. If the Internal Revenue Service already has your bank account information, it would transfer the money to you via direct deposit based on the recent income-tax figures it already has, according to the New York Times.

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Who’s Hiring?

The Greater Memphis Chamber is keeping a list of available job postings in Memphis.

CLICK HERE to view that list.

Unemployment in Tennessee

Tennessee is experiencing an unprecedented spike in new initial unemployment claims, according to data released this morning by this U.S. Department of Labor.

For the week ending March 21, Tennesseans filed 39,096 initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits.

The week prior, the state received 2,702 new unemployment claims.

The latest figure represents a nearly 20-fold increase in week-to-week claims.

Week ending March 21, 2020, at a glance:

  • New: 39,096
  • Last week: 2,702
  • Difference: 36,394

Last week, 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

This was the biggest jump in new jobless claims in history, surpassing the record of 695,000 set in 1982.

The maximum weekly unemployment benefit in Tennessee is $275 before the deduction of federal taxes. Claimants receive this benefit through a debit card or direct deposit to a bank account.

Currently, the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD) is processing these claims as quickly as possible to determine eligibility and distribute benefit payments.

The state will release the latest new unemployment claims data each Thursday at 8:30 a.m. CT beginning Thursday, April 2.

So, how do you apply for unemployment?

We broke down how to apply for each state in the Mid-South.


There are things you need to know before you apply, and steps you must take after filing your claim for unemployment insurance benefits.

Unemployed Through No Fault of Your Own

The Unemployment Insurance program provides benefits to workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own and who are able, available, and looking for work. You may file a claim for benefits the first day after becoming separated from employment or after your employer has significantly reduced your work hours. Information will be gathered from you as well as your separating employer and an agency determination will be based on whether you meet the eligibility requirements under state law.

You Must Have Qualifying Base Period Wages

You must have earned a minimum of $780.01 in each of 2 quarters of a time frame called the Base Period. If you’ve earned sufficient wages during this time frame, the wages earned will then be used to calculate your weekly benefit amount and the number of weeks you may receive benefits. The Base Period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the quarter in which your initial claim is filed. A calendar quarter is three months of either January - March, April - June, July - September or October - December.

You Must Be Able to Work

You must be physically able to work at the time you file your claim for benefits. Special provisions are available for individuals who become ill or disabled after filing an initial claim.

Information They Need From You

Your Personal Info

  • Social Security Number
  • Driver’s License Number
  • Address
  • Telephone Number
  • Valid email address
  • Tennessee Unemployment Insurance claimants receive their benefits via the Tennessee Automated Payment (TAP) debit card or direct deposit. To receive benefits by direct deposit, you’ll need to provide your bank routing number and account number.
  • DD 214 Member 4 if you served in the military in the past 18 months

Your Employment Info

  • Last 18 months of Employment
  • Last Day Worked
  • Reason for Separation (e.g., quit, fired, lack of work, laid off or job eliminated, etc.)

Employer Info

  • Separating Employer's Name
  • Separating Employer's Address
  • Separating Employer's Telephone Number
  • Separating Employer’s Fax Number (if known)

Here is a link to the Tennessee Application


The first thing you have to do is register with MDES Online Services. Whether you want to file a claim to receive weekly unemployment benefits or to search for a new job, you must register first. That’s how you get your personal User Name and PIN number to be able to use the online system whenever you need to.

“Practically everything you need to know about your unemployment benefits and what you have to do to be eligible to receive them is here in one place for you. You will also find out what you have to do to show us that you are continually searching for a job, what happens in an eligibility review and other important information you may need during the time you are unemployed.”

Register here



A claim for Unemployment Insurance may be filed in person at any Arkansas Workforce Center office. A valid government ID is required (Driver’s License or Passport).

UI claimant forms are also available online, as well as located in most public buildings for filing claims by mail. Learn more about filing a claim and eligibility for benefits.

EZARC is another option to file an initial or additional claim for Arkansas Unemployment Insurance via the Internet. If you are working less than full-time, or have completely separated from your last job, you may file your Arkansas Unemployment Insurance claim from your own home computer. To file an EZARC online claim, you must have access to a computer, a printer and an Internet connection.

Click here for a link to Arkansas’ job search