Gov. Lee ends all federal pandemic unemployment funding

Gov. Bill Lee is ending all federal unemployment funding, effective July 3.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is ending all federally funded pandemic unemployment compensation programs in Tennessee, effective July 3.

Lee’s decision to stop the extra $300 a week to the jobless, echoes the actions of other Republican led states, amid claims that the payments are incentivizing people not to work.

The unemployment compensation is part of a reduced version of the $600 weekly benefit authorize last March under the CARES Act, designed to help the millions Americans out of work due to the Pandemic.

“We will no longer participate in federal pandemic unemployment programs because Tennesseans have access to more than 250,000 jobs in our state,” said Gov. Lee. “Families, businesses and our economy thrive when we focus on meaningful employment and move on from short-term, federal fixes.”

Federal pandemic unemployment programs set to end on July 3 include the following:

  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), which provides for an additional $300 weekly payment to recipients of unemployment compensation
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which provides benefits for those who would not usually qualify, such as the self-employed, gig workers and part-time workers
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which provides for an extension of benefits once regular benefits have been exhausted
  • Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC), which provides an additional $100 benefit to certain people with mixed earnings

Unemployment claimants in Tennessee have been required to complete three weekly job searches in order to remain eligible for benefits since Oct. 4, 2020.

Any weeks filed before July 3 that are eligible under federal program requirements will continue to be processed.

“The Tennessee Workforce Development System stands ready to help Tennesseans return to the workforce,” said Lee. “Career specialists are available to help job seekers match with new employment opportunities at more than 80 American Job Centers across the state. They can work to identify possible training programs that can help an individual change their career pathway or enter an apprenticeship program so they can earn a competitive wage, while they learn a new trade.”

As federal pandemic unemployment compensation ends in Tennessee, the state encourages claimants to search for work at <www.Jobs4TN.gov>, which currently has over 250,000 active job postings of all skill levels.