COVID-19 Unemployment Frequently Asked Questions

Recently, our firm has received several “lawyers near me” inquiries about whether our attorneys can assist persons filing unemployment claims as a result of the pandemic. In an effort to assist clients and potential clients as quickly as possible, we have compiled this list of frequently asked questions.

Q: I was recently laid off; how do I receive unemployment benefits?

A: File a claim with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (“DOL”).

Q: I filed my claim last week and I haven’t been paid yet, when can I expect to begin receiving my benefits?

A: According to the DOL, it may take up to three weeks for your application for unemployment benefits to be approved or denied. Benefits will be paid to those applicants that are approved.

Q: Will hiring an attorney to call the DOL on my behalf speed up the process, so that I can begin receiving my benefits sooner?

A:  Unfortunately, having an attorney intervene on your behalf will not speed up the process. As you know, there is an unprecedented number of claims being filed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It may take several attempts before you are able to file your application.

Q: What kind of unemployment issues can an attorney assist me with during the pandemic?

A: For those clients that are interested in having an attorney review their paperwork and the requisite application prior to submission to the DOL, we are here for you. You can call and schedule a phone or video appointment. We understand that this is a high priority, and will work to get you in front of an attorney as quickly as possible. Additionally, if your employer has done something that may merit more attorney involvement, such as denying that you worked for them or preventing leave, we can assist with those issues as well.

Q: None of these questions answered my question, can I still contact your office?

A: Absolutely! We will speak with you to determine whether you are having a legal issue that we can assist you with resolving.

Post authored by Gloria D. Crawford and Rachel E. Lamey