Unemployed workers continue to encounter roadblocks while waiting for unemployment claim

WATCH: Unemployed workers continue to encounter roadblocks while waiting for unemployment claim

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis woman who struggled to find work, in the middle of the pandemic, received the help she needed.

Tammy Rivera was laid off about a year ago. She sent out dozens of resumes every day with no luck.

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“It was starting to get just a little tighter than I like for it to be,” said Rivera.

She needed to pay rent but couldn’t since she didn’t receive unemployment for the past two weeks.

When her unemployment payments stopped, she started draining her savings account.

Rivera tried calling and emailing the Department of Labor to find out why her payments stopped but she didn’t get an answer.

“I was doing everything I could to get through to them and I don’t know why they are not answering phone calls and returning emails,” Rivera said.

When she was laid off from her job at the University of Memphis, she filed for unemployment.

Those benefits stopped at the end of June and she tried filing a new claim that would give her 13 more weeks of unemployment through the Cares Act.

But it didn’t go through.

“It’s like beating your head against a brick wall,” Rivera explained. “There is no one to get through too.”

When she tried to file a claim, a message said she couldn’t refile until December 26.

She didn’t get any answers from the Tennessee Department of Labor, so FOX13 stepped in to help.

A spokesperson said they were looking into the issue and fixed the problem.

Rivera will receive the two unemployment payments she missed and the rest of the benefits from the Cares Act extension.

“I have a feeling if you haven’t intervened on my behalf, I wouldn’t have heard from them,” she said.

Rivera hoped she could find a job soon.

The Department of Labor said the problems Rivera faced were not systematic. They are trying to figure out what exactly happened.

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