Family breadwinner sells laptop, TV while awaiting unemployment benefits

WATCH: Teen who is the breadwinner for his family is still waiting on his unemployment benefits

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — 22,256 new unemployment claims were filed in the state of Tennessee last week. That’s up more than 1,100 from the previous week.

A 19-year-old who says he’s the breadwinner for his three siblings and mother is still waiting on his unemployment benefits.

“I have to do something, I have younger siblings, we got to eat,” said Derrione Carrick.

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Carrick told FOX13 he walks to the pawnshop frequently to sell whatever he can to provide for his family. He’s the breadwinner for his three siblings and his mother who is in and out of the hospital and was laid off.

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“I had to sell my laptop, my X-Box, I was actually going today to sell my TV,” said Carrick.

Like many people FOX13 hears from weekly, Carrick said he still hasn’t received his unemployment benefits. The pandemic laid him off as a host at a Collierville restaurant. He said he filed for benefits in early April.

Derrione Carrick (far left) had to sell his laptop and TV to pay bills.
Derrione Carrick (far left) had to sell his laptop and TV to pay bills. (Derrione Carrick)

“I received the card,” said Carrick. “They did send a card, but ain’t no money been coming on it, I’ve been calling trying to help them figure out why.”

A spokesman with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development said Carrick’s most recent work history was not entered at the time he filed his claim so a letter has not gone out to the employer. They said they need to get the work history and contact the employer before the claim can proceed.

Carrick said he and his family fear they will lose their home.

“If that was to happen, what do I say to them, like to my younger siblings because they’re going to be looking for me to fix the situation?” he said.

Carrick said agents with the state keep telling him they’re swamped with claims and to be patient. He said he has been patient long enough.

There have been more than 666,000 new claims filed since March 15th.

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