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Pandemic unemployment assistance ending soon, expected to affect thousands in Tennessee

Tens of thousands of Tennesseans will receive their last payments of pandemic unemployment benefits in the coming weeks or even earlier like this weekend and the options to receive other benefits is looking slim.

December 26th is the date the pandemic unemployment assistance program ends, leaving thousands in Tennessee without income after the holidays.

The program was available for people to claim benefits for up to 39 weeks. For claimants that began the program March 15th they will receive their last payment this weekend.

“So unless congress comes up with a new stimulus bill before December 26th those programs will end here in Tennessee and across the nation", says Tennessee department of labor and workforce development assistant administrator for communications, Chris Cannon.

The state of Tennessee is pushing their 'Reemploy Tennessee' initiative to get more people back in the workforce before the 26th.

“We understand that many people will have no other options for benefits after the PUA program ends and that’s why we really have been pushing the reemploy Tennessee initiative", says Cannon.

Although Tennessee has their own unemployment program, claimants through PUA may not be eligible to receive benefits through the state program.

“They can reapply and see if they now qualify for Tennessee’s unemployment program, but most likely they won’t because they did not qualify in the beginning and they haven’t worked since", he adds.

It is important that after the benefits end claimants seek a job to add to their wage base just incase they need to claim benefits again next year.

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