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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20393
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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I have been receiving unemployment from the State of TN since

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I have been receiving unemployment from the State of TN since the week beginning 1/11/10.
I have filed for weekly benefits since the week of 1/18/11. My weekly benefit after taxes is $247/week since the $25/week stimulous money was cut off around 12/11/10.
I received the following letter today that was dated 02/15/2011:
"Claimant has not been paid wages for insured work performed after the establishment of the previous benefit year in an amount equal to at least five (5) times the weekly benefit amount in the preceding benefit year. Claimant is ineligible for failure to meet conditions set forth in TCA 50-7-302.

Appeal Rights: Interested parties have the right to appeal this decision within 15 calendar days of date mailed. If State offices are closed on the final day, the next business day is the deadline. Late appeals will only be allowed if you can show, in a hearing, that you had good cause. File the appeal by mail to TDLWD, Appeals Tribunal, 220 French Landing Drive, Nashville, TNNNN-NN-NNNNor by fax to (XXX) XXX-XXXX. The Claimant's social security number must appear on all documents. The guide for receiving UI Benefits and the Employer's Handbook contain additional information. The claimant must certify weekly to remain eligible for benefits should filing an appeal result in approval. You may be represented by an attorney or assisted by any other representatives you choose. If you cannot afford an attorney, free or low cost legal assistance may be available through your local legal services organization or bar association. We cannot provide an attorney for you."

The only money I received since filing for unemployment was just under $1,800 for back vacation pay around April 2010. I was asked about this money by the employment person that renewed by file when I extended my benefits in late January 2011 and told them it was back vacation pay. I have filed every week that I was eligible and received no other compensation.

I know I need to continue filing for my weekly unemployment certification until I find a job and/or this matter gets resolved, but what does this mean? What is your advise on handling this situation?

I can't tell you why your benefits were cut off but I would highly recommend that you appeal the decision and that you try to get representation from either Legal Services or, if you can afford one, a private employment law attorney who practices unemployment law. I have set out the entire section of the law that the State cited below.

"... (1) If the qualifying base period wages of the claimant's current benefit year include wages paid prior to the establishment of a previous benefit year, the claimant shall not be eligible for any benefits under this chapter unless the claimant has been paid wages for insured work performed after the establishment of the previous benefit year equal to at least five (5) times the claimant's weekly benefit amount in the claimant's preceding benefit year;..."

The entire statute can be seen at:

What the section means is the you did not have enough earnings in the benefit year to qualify for continued benefits. I think you may be correct that they are focusing on the vacation pay you received. Normally, that is not used as countable income since it is a benefit payment. Because of the technical issue here, I do think that it is important the you have representation to get this straightened out.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Do I need to get a form or go to the unemployment office or type a request for an appeal on my own and then get an attorney involved or just get an attorney immediately? I have to reply by february 28th, 2011.
Hello again,

There is no formal form for your appeal. You just want to make sure that you include the information that the letter said you were required to. You can also see the guide they refer to at:

If I were you, I would first try to make an appointment with an attorney to discuss your case. If you can't get an appointment before you must file your appeal, then you want to go ahead and get that done.
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