• Furloughed employees eligible for unemployment benefits during government shutdown

    By: Kirstin Garriss


    SHELBY CO., Tenn. - As the government shutdown continues, thousands of federal workers are heading into the weekend without a paycheck. 

    There have been 400 federal unemployment claims filed in Tennessee since the government shutdown started.

    Representatives with the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development said furloughed employees who can't go to work are eligible for unemployment benefits. 

    But federal employees who have been reporting to work and not getting paid wouldn't qualify.

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    The state has 21 days to approve or deny an unemployment claim. 

    But since these claims are for federal employees, the shutdown will delay how quickly people could receive those benefits.

    “If you apply on a Sunday night, you’re not going to get your unemployment benefits on a Monday. It could take a week, it could take two weeks before those benefits come through,” said Chris Cannon, Director of Communications for the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. “So, it’s a process where in this difficult time more patience is needed.”

    If you receive unemployment benefits during the shutdown, you will have to repay those benefits back to the state when the shutdown ends.

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