NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Unemployment benefits could be delayed for more than 10,000 Tennesseans this week due to a computer glitch.
On Sunday, the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce’s (TDLWD) online vendor, Geographic Solutions, notified them they were having an equipment problem at their network operations center.
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The glitch knocked Tennessee’s unemployment website (Jobs4TN.gov) offline, along with three dozen other states.
According to TDLWD Communications Director, Chris Cannon, roughly 12,000 Tennesseans use the website weekly to register for and file unemployment claims.
“This has never happened in Tennessee before,” Cannon said. “We’re at the mercy of the vendor right now and they’re telling us they’re working on it 24 hours a day to get the system up and running again.”
Cannon says people can certify unemployment weekly between Sunday and Saturday. If the website is up and running again by Saturday then essentially there will be no major problems.
“The system went out Sunday, no one has been able to certify for this week so far. That could change, hopefully, it will change, sooner rather than later. If we can get the system up and running again by Saturday, they still can certify for this week on Saturday and their payment will go out, probably the beginning of next week,” Cannon said.
But if Geographic Solutions doesn’t fix the system by this weekend, Cannon says, unfortunately, there is no backup plan in Tennessee.
“Tennessee’s unemployment system is completely online. It’s been like that for many years and that’s just how things are done these days. It would be great if it was as easy as flipping a switch and a backup plan could come on and we could do paper claims. But we can’t take paper claims because there is no data anywhere. The data is on the computer system. So we are really at the mercy of the vendor right now,” Cannon said.
Madison Machen suddenly lost her job two weeks ago.
“I don’t know really what to do, where to turn to, where to go,” Machen said. “Unfortunately, I’ve been logging on to the unemployment website every single day this week and the same thing happens.”
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If payments are delayed, Cannon said people will still receive a lump sum of money at a later date.