Tennessee Unemployment Eligibility

In order to establish unemployment eligibility in Tennessee you have to:

1. Be a resident of Tennessee. If you are not a resident of Tennessee, but worked in Tennessee at your last job, you should still have Tennessee unemployment eligibility.
2. Have worked and earned income in Tennessee.
3. You must not be disabled.
4. You must be able to work.
5. You must be actively looking for a new job.
6. You must have lost your job through no fault of your own. If you quit your job or were fired for 'just cause' you may not be eligible to collect unemployment in Tennessee. Every case is different, so if you lost your job -- be sure to apply to unemployment in case you are indeed eligible to receive unemployment benefits.

There are special rules that apply to unemployment elibility for military personnel and union workers, so check with your mility or union representative for these rules.

Still Have Questions?

To go back to the Tennessee Unemployment FAQ Page, click here: Tennessee Unemployment FAQ

To go the main Tennessee Unemployment page, click here: Tennessee Unemployment

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If you can't find the answer to your question, you can fill out the comment form below and I will answer your question ASAP, or you can ask the The Unemployment Expert or you can post your question in the Unemployment Forum


# Crysatl 2011-11-16 21:13
My boss reduced my hours and then after the reduction, my paychecks began bouncing. My bank is charging me excessive fines and my boss keeps saying that she will "take care of it". She has recently listed the building for sale. I am not sure how much longer my job will last or how much more she will cut my hours. I do not trust that my boss is being honest and forthcoming about my job security. Could I draw unemployment. I have 2 children and cannot afford to lose my job or have my hours cut. I have asked my boss to give me a lay -off, but she refuses.
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# Shannon 2012-01-13 23:07
Due to a recent seperation from my husband I had to get a second job that pays less than unemployment. Then I was laidoff from my primary job. Can I still recieve partial benefits?
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# Dana 2012-01-17 17:03
I was working a part time job and my hours were decreased down to 1 hour and 15 minutes per night. Also my pay was reduced from 12.00 hourly to 8.oo hourly.
I had to quit because I could not afford to work the job due to the reduction in pay and hours.originally I was working approximately 3 to 4 hours nightly.
Can I file for unemployment? My employer saids that I do not qualify and I have been working for 6 months.
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# Lora c 2012-01-26 14:39
I recently contacted the HR department regarding earned wages that I was not being compensated for, "off the clock". My job required me to make calls, go on-line from home. I was an hourly employee. I was subsequently terminated. Can I receive unemployment benefits?
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# Christine 2012-03-14 09:38
I was laid off thru a text message. I was told that the company I worked for no longer needed me, and that I could draw unemployment.

Now they are refusing to grant me unemployment. I called the company I worked for, to ask about getting a seperation notice and never even got to ask the question before the secretary hung up on me.

I dont know if I have any recourse or not.
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# kathleen 2012-04-07 21:18
I AM A Rn. I HAVE worked at a local hospital for 4 years without as much as a write up. We recently got a new boss. in the past, if flowers were left at the nurses stattion, unclaimed, we took t tiurns takng them home.everyone did it! if we didnt they would pile up. i took home some that had been there for 3 weeks an unclaimed.even have witnesses that we called around to find the owner.none. my new boss fired me. he had been threatening me all month but just bragged on how well i was doing. I didn't know i was doing wrong. will i be denied unemployment?I wasnt stealing. I never havenstolen anything! .im a good person and i replaced the unclaimed,dying flowers after he fired me. He told me it wouldn't save my job. that wasnt the point. im not a theif. all the staff have taken flowers home. thanks
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# kristin 2012-04-25 15:03
I was in my "probation period" and was told that I didn't ask enough questions. So I was fired. No other reason other than not asking questions. My work was not done incorrectly and I didn't cause any problems. Can I receive benefits?
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# Lori 2012-07-04 09:12
My husband and I owned our own business of which we were forced to file bankruptcy with, I am now unemployed and would like to know if I qualify for unemployment. Thank You
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# Tommy 2012-07-09 14:56
I work through an out of state company as a contractor (a "1099" employee). Available work dropped to less than $550/mo. for the last 3 months and I haven't been able to locate anything else either career type or local jobs to eat and pay minimum bills. I had previously worked for 26 years in Tennessee (Knoxville) prior to retirement in 2001 ($574.82/mo) when I became self-employed. Am I eligible for unemployment?
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# Donna 2012-08-23 19:25
I am currently working, yet i sustained an injury at work. The company WC doctor put me on restricted duty yet the company insists that the only work they can put me on is what I was hired to do and nothing else. Can I quit my job since this is the case and I plan to look for other work as soon as my back injury has gotten better?
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# Kulvinder 2012-08-30 12:43
I moved to Tennesse from California for school. I had to leave my job will I be able to receive unemployment.
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# Jean 2012-09-04 13:21
I quit my job of bout 9 yrs to move to another city in TN. I went to a temp. place to get a job. They found me a job and after bout 80 days they let me go. Can I still get unemployment?
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# Jennifer 2012-10-31 09:23
I was in an automobile accident and severely injured my knee. I need time off to have surgery but have no short term disability benefits. My job is physically demanding and I will have to take 6 to 8 weeks off. Will I qualify for unemployment benefits during this leave of absence?
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# jen 2012-11-13 01:36
you are protected under federal law. look it up.
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# carlos 2012-11-30 16:21
can you file if you are being laid off temporarily? I am being laid off for a few weeks and was wondering what my rights were.
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# Joy 2012-12-10 15:42
I have been on leave of absence and ran out of FMLA hours, at that time I requested special leave without pay but was denied and terminated by my employer. Do I qualify for UI benefits? My doctor released me for limited full time duty but my employer would not let me return to work because the essential job duties could not be performed.
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# Evelyn 2013-01-29 15:18
I am 77 years old and still employed and I also have a check from Social Security coming in monthly and a small pension check from a previous job. If I get laid off am I eligible for unemployment. I have never drawn unemployment in my life.
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# Vitaliy 2013-02-06 17:38
What is Allowable Earnings and how much is it?
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# Leslie 2013-02-15 11:54
I sustained an injury to my knee (not work related) and have had to have surgery. I have been off work for 2 weeks now but my employerdoes not offer short term disability benefits. My job is physically demanding and I will have to take 6 to 8 weeks off. Will I qualify for unemployment benefits during this leave of absence?
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# Nicholi 2013-02-26 19:45
Hello, I am a 23 year old who has served active duty Army, been deployed numerous times (over 2, with many shorter term missions involving being overseas) and coming upon my transition leave to being a civilian. I am inquiring because my ETS is not really by choice, but a ultimatum. The Army is requiring me to stay at my position if I stay in. Being deployed countless more times (I have deployed more then infantry units and I've only been in five years). I have multiple mental and physical health issues and if I stay in. I will eventually be forced out anyways. I tried to change my job in the military because the one i'm currently in will not allow me to move, but the only job they will offer me is a combat related skill (when i'm a technician). I feel torn apart about this. I wanted to stay in the military, but I need to do what I know is right for me and I feel so underprepared. I just recently got back from a deployment and have four months to prepare myself for my transition (most soldiers are required to start the transition over a year before they get out), while still dealing with every day work, and trying to go to my numerous appointments I am not finding the time to search for a job or enroll in a school to use my GI benefits. I am terrified that I am going to be thrown out on my face, with nothing to prepare my survival outside of this lifestyle. Is there any possibility that I can apply and succeed in my application for unemployment and also... if I did apply is there a possibility to ask for less than the amount most people receive for my pay level. I do not intend to use unemployment for long, nor do I feel I need much to get by. Just want to ensure that I can make it a month or so with the ability to seriously study and research jobs and schools in the area I want to move to. For further information though I am in the military I lived in TN for 18 years, and I am moving back to reiterate.
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# jack 2013-06-03 15:35
I have been a truck driver sense 93. However do to medical disqualificatio n I cannot drive. The company I worked for terminated me. Do I qualify for unemployment.
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# Nenas 2013-07-10 16:07
I had cancer less then a year ago, I let my new employer know about the doctor appointments I would have only needing to leave early once or twice a month. Now I have been wrote up. And they added my personal days on my write up even tho they were asked for and approved.. I'm afraid I may get fired. I still have doctors appointments. I don't want to get fired but if I do- could I get unemployment for going to the doctor?
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# Donzella 2013-07-22 09:51
Several months ago I was receiving unemployment, the found work. Since then I was separated from that job, and need to restart my unemployment until I can obtain another job. I am not able to restart unemployment due to my previous employer is not listed. Also, I am unable to reach anyone at the UI phone numbers to speak with an eligibility agent regarding a claim
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# Becky 2013-08-12 14:54
I found that the employer who terminated my employment responded on July 10 that they will not contest my unemployment claim. As of today the recording still says a decision has not been made....what's the delay? I've no income, an overdrawn checking account, and living in a friends spare bedroom! I cannot find a way to speak with a live person....anyone know how I can do that?
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# Kim 2013-08-22 15:58
I have a weird situation going on. I was recently fired from my job because my boss said I was insubordinate. I work from home and he called me on my phone and was yelling at me and I told him I did not like to be spoken to in that manner and he said that if I didn't like it, then I was fired. They classify me as an independent contractor. After doing more research, I have decided to fill out a SS-8 form with the IRS and let them decide. Reading the paperwork, it looks as if I am actually a "real" employee and it looks as if my ex-employers have misclassified me. If that is the case, do I qualify for unemployment? I have not paid any taxes as of yet and I am taking my ex-employers to small claims court because they also will not pay my last months wages. While doing that, I would like to get them for the taxes also. Of course all this depends on whether I am an independent contractor or an employee. Any advice?
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# Chris 2013-08-30 13:56
I have been working for this company since february and they love me I moved almost 30 miles away the end of march but continued to drive hte almost 60 miles per day to get back and forth to work, I love that store and the people I am working with. My car started having issues so I had to think of the best thing for me and my family so, in the middle of June I asked for a transfer within the company to a store only 5 minuites down the road from me. It has been almost 3 months and they refuse to grant me my transfer. Since I asked for this transfer I have had to fix the oil pressure sensor, and change out both of my front wheel hubs. My car just cannot handle driving almost 60 miles a day and I cannot afford to keep fixing it. Two days ago I was driving down the road and my breakline snapped and I lost my breaks and had to use the e-break to get home. I CANNOT drive my car now and cannot afford the $600 to get all 5 of my break lines fixed. My job is still refusing to give me my transfer, if I was transfered I could walk or ride a bike to the store close to my house. I am sure if I continue to have to miss work because I cannot drive my car they are going to make it seem like I "quit" and I wouldnt be able to claim unemployment benefits. I DO NOT want to quit, but I don't see any option I CANT drive my car and they wont transfer me..... so my question is If I quit because of this will I be able to claim unemployment or not?
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# Courtney Schaefer 2017-05-16 11:10
I live and work in Indiana. My husband just got transferred to Tennessee with his job. So I am giving notice to follow him.. Not sure which state I file in? Also, in Indiana I can file for unemployment and receive it due to job transfer for spouse but does Tennessee?
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# Gregory Bradley 2017-08-29 17:22
I've worked at the local Burger King for over a year..I met someone who worked there as well..we eventually ended up staying together and still do..She was recently promoted to assistant manager, creating a problem for me.. Due to company policy they're making quit or stay and get fired.. I want to leave without damaging my eligibility for unemployment...HELP!!!!
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# Mike 2017-10-24 18:08
I recently took a nursing job as a manager (My first management position) I was told in my interview I would be taught and mentored by the director 1 on 1. I was tossed into the job with little to no guidance or assistance from my superiors. When I presented concerns about my staff I was told "My expectations for my staff were too high" I have been lied to about work duties and job description, I have just been suspended pending an investigation for questioning the whereabouts of a set of absent staff members that left there work area for an extended period of time. I was told it was "abusive" in my questioning. May be fired after investigation or I may Quit before investigation is complete. Would I be eligible for benefits in either case?
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