Tennessee set to raise unemployment pay, lower weeks eligible from 26 to 12

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(The Center Square) – Tennessee unemployment benefits will soon be rising to a maximum $325 per week while standard eligibility will move from 26 to 12 weeks.

New Tennessee laws passed over the past three years are set to go into place Dec. 1. The standard eligibility across the country is 26 weeks with Arkansas, Iowa, Michigan, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Missouri the states that have lower than 26 weeks, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Tennessee residents can become eligible for more than 12 weeks if the state’s unemployment rate rises above 5.5%, the number of weeks an unemployed resident would get benefits goes up one week for every 0.5% the unemployment rate is above 5.5%. Unemployment benefits will be capped at 20 weeks.

Only Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Puerto Rico currently cap their unemployment benefits below $300 per week with Tennessee set to bump out of that range, according to Equifax data.

A 2023 law passed that will also require four documented weekly work search activities to maintain unemployment starting next July 1.

Those activities include submitting a resume or job application with an employer, completing an interview or attending a job fair, completing a job search or skills assessment or participating in a job search plan program approved by the state.

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