The tornadoes that struck Tennessee on Tuesday claimed lives and destroyed homes.
The storms also ripped apart dozens of businesses in their path, leaving what’s estimated to be hundreds of people without a job because their place of employment has been leveled.
The state of Tennessee wants to help. The Department of Labor and Workforce Development has established phone lines for employers and employees impacted by the tornadoes.
Employer phone number: (615) 551-3501
Employee phone number: (615) 247-5138
The state of Tennessee administers the Unemployment Insurance Program and the Disaster Unemployment Assistance Program, two programs funded by the federal government. Impacted employees could be eligible to receive a weekly benefit from one of these two programs.
Employers with businesses affected by the tornadoes should contact the state to provide details about their situation and a list of employees impacted by the closure. This initial contact will help expedite the process for workers when they file for unemployment benefits.
Employees who no longer have a place to work should call to start the process of determining if they are eligible for one of the unemployment programs.
Workers who typically do not qualify for state unemployment insurance may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance. This includes the self-employed and other workers whose source of income has been interrupted by the disaster.
Any worker can file for unemployment assistance. Only workers whose place of employment is in a declared a federal disaster area can apply for DUA. Currently, the federal government has declared Davidson, Putnam, and Wilson counties major disaster areas.
Callers can leave a voicemail 24 hours a day and a staff member will return the call as soon as possible.