Updated : July 11th, 2018
How to claim your benefits in Tennessee
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Tennessee Unemployment Questions
Working in multiple city or states
If you worked in Tennessee during the base period but moved to another state, you may, if you are unemployed, file a claim for benefits on those wages earned in Tennessee. If you worked in another state during the base period, but moved to Tennessee, you may file a claim for benefits from another state. In some cases your wages from two or more states may be combined to provide benefits. If you have filed a claim for benefits in another state within the last 12 months and established a benefit year, you must continue to file on that claim until your benefits are exhausted, your benefit year ends, or you are disqualified for benefits. Then you may qualify for benefits in another state.
Part-time work and TN Unemployment benefits
You can earn up to 25% of your weekly benefit amount without it affecting your weekly check; however, if you do go over your weekly benefit amount, it will suspend your claim and you will need to actually re-open your claim in order to receive unemployment benefits in the future. And what you will do is report this on your weekly certification.
Minimum number of non-work days required to qualify for benefits
To be paid benefits for any week, a claimant must have a qualifying reason to apply and the total gross wages earned during the UI Week must be less than the claimant’s weekly benefit amount. A UI week is calculated from one Saturday night midnight to the following Saturday night midnight. Gross wages are those earned during this seven day period. If the gross wages are equal to or exceeds the claimant’s weekly benefit amount, the week is considered to have excess wages and be disqualified.
How is unemployment compensation amount calculated?
An otherwise eligible claimant shall be entitled during any benefit year to a total amount of benefits equal to whichever is the lesser of (A) twenty-six (26) times the claimant’s weekly benefit amount; or (B) one fourth (1/4) of such claimant’s wages for insured work paid during such claimant’s base period. The weekly benefit amount is determined on the individual’s base period and the two calendar quarters in which such total wages are highest. The minimum weekly benefit amount in Tennessee is $30 and the maximum weekly benefit amount is $275. The base period means the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the first day of an individual’s benefit year; provided, that the first quarter of the last five completed calendar quarters was included in the base period applicable to any individual’s previous benefit year, such individual’s base period shall be the last four completed calendar quarters.
How does my business file quarterly reports?
"Premium Reports" (LB-0456) and "Wage Reports" (LB-0851) are mailed to employers each calendar quarter. If you do not receive a quarterly report, you are not relieved of your responsibility to submit reports and pay premiums due on time. You can obtain reports by calling the Employer Accounts Office in your area or by calling Employer Services at (615) 741-2486. Tennessee employers are required to use the "Premium Report" to report the amount of total gross wages and total taxable wages paid to all employees, as well as the number of employees working for the employer as of the 12th of the each month of the applicable quarter. Employers are also required to report each employee’s social security number, name and total gross wages on the "Wage Report".
Quarterly reports can also now be filed by Internet. We call our online reporting system TNPAWS (TN Premium And Wage reporting System). You'll need the access code that will be printed on your quarterly premium report to register a user account and file online. The address is https://tdlwd.tn.gov/tnpaws/. Please note that to access TNPAWS you do not type "www."
What is the definition of "wages"?
All remuneration paid for personal services from whatever source is considered to be "wages" for unemployment insurance purposes. Examples of such remuneration, or compensation, are salaries, commissions, bonuses, drawing accounts, fees, certain gifts, deferred compensation, employee contributions to a cafeteria plan, employee-reported tips, allocated tips and vacation pay. Payments made to employees in a medium other than cash are also considered to be "wages", except for meals, lodging, and clothing when furnished for the employer’s convenience and on the employer’s premises.
What are "taxable wages"?
Taxable Wages: For Tennessee unemployment insurance purposes, effective January 1, 2009, "taxable wages" are defined as the first $9,000 paid to each employee in a calendar year.
When are my quarterly reports due?
Employers are required to report payroll and pay the total unemployment insurance premiums due for each quarter by the end of the month following the end of the quarter (i.e. Apr. 30, Jul. 31, Oct. 31, and Jan. 31).
What is magnetic media reporting?
Magnetic media reporting is the filing of individual employee wage information on a CD, 3.5" diskette, or electronic filing by Internet (TNPAWS) or modem. Tennessee Employment Security Law requires employers or their agents reporting more than 250 employees to submit quarterly wage information on magnetic media.
How is my employer account charged for benefits paid to my former employees?
If you are the only employer who paid wages to the benefit claimant for covered employment in his/her base period, you are the only employer with potential liability for benefits paid on the claim. However, if the claimant was paid wages for covered employment by more than one employer in his/her base period, the liability for benefit payments is prorated. Each employer is then responsible for a percentage of each payment, which is equal to the percentage of the total base period wages paid to the claimant by that employer.
How do I terminate/cancel my account?
Once you have established liability as an employer, you are subject to the unemployment insurance law for at least two calendar years, regardless of the number of employees, as long as you employ workers. However, you may request termination of coverage as of January 1 of any calendar year if you employed workers or paid wages to a lesser extent than required by law for the purpose of liability for the previous calendar year.
Such request must be submitted, in writing to our Employer Services Unit, before April 1 of the year the termination is to be effective.
How do my premiums paid to Tennessee affect my Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)?
In order to be eligible for a 5.4 percent offset credit against the 6.2 percent FUTA tax that you pay to the IRS, you must pay state unemployment insurance premiums for the previous year in full by January 31.
If the state premiums are not paid, you must pay the full 6.2 percent FUTA tax. However, this will not relieve you from state premiums.