More trouble for job seekers looking to state benefits system - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

More trouble for job seekers looking to state benefits system

Posted: Updated:
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

There is more trouble for job seekers in Tennessee. Last month, the Channel 4 I-Team investigated after viewers said they couldn't get through to the state's unemployment benefits system.

Time and time again, the state has promised upgrades and even told us about a new improvement they said would help those who are struggling with long wait times.

But once again, we have found the unemployed facing another hang-up.

"I am definitely hurting. I have had to borrow money from my credit union," said job seeker Jim Narveson.

After our investigation aired, Narveson called to let us know he too couldn't get through to the Tennessee unemployment benefits system.

"The system isn't working the way it's supposed to. I think the taxpayers are getting shortchanged," he said.

And he's not alone.

The Channel 4 I-Team asked the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development why the backlog hasn't been fixed after all these years.

"We can get as many as 20,000 calls that come into the phone lines, and, at most, we can handle about half of those calls," said department spokesman Jeff Hentschel.

Hentschel also said the system has been back-logged since the recession started, but they have made recent improvements like a new form on the website for the unemployed having trouble with the filing system.

"You click on that and fill out the form, and you'll get a call within two days," Hentschel said.

The problem is we heard a much different story from frustrated job seekers.

"The request form is working, but the response since your original story has been extraordinary. The department was initially receiving approximately 100 requests per day, which has recently peaked at 800 per day," Hentschel said.

The department also adjusted the response time from two days to five to seven working days.

Narveson filed a claim back in August when he lost his job. He was able to find work since then but says his hours were recently cut. He wants to file a new claim but hasn't been able to get through.

Now, he hopes this new form will lead to a call back.

"I'll cross my fingers and pray to God I do," he said.

We're told the state labor department has hired more workers to try to meet the demand.

It's important to note the department says the new online form is for those job seekers who have already filed an unemployment claim and not for those trying to apply.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • More trouble for job seekers looking to state benefits systemMore>>

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Two teens charged with Gulfport man's murder

    Two teens charged with Gulfport man's murder

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 3:00 PM EDT2014-07-29 19:00:30 GMT
    Two Gulfport teens are charged with murder after police say they shot Lamont Hayes in his home last week and left him to die.More >>
    Two Gulfport teens are charged with murder after police say they shot Lamont Hayes in his home last week and left him to die. Monday night, investigators tracked down Jalen Shaquille Williams, 19, and arrested him at his home. Rashad Rejohn Johnson, 17, was arrested Monday at the Harrison County Juvenile Detention Facility, where he was being held on an unrelated charge.More >>
  • Two more Singing River Health System clinics set to close

    Two more Singing River Health System clinics set to close

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:10 PM EDT2014-07-30 01:10:42 GMT
    Singing River Health System has announced the closure of two more primary care clinics as part of a realignment program. The Gautier and D'Iberville facilities will close August 29.
    More >>
    We will rebound. That's Singing River Health System CEO Kevin Holland's response to the announcement that two clinics are closing in South Mississippi. Those facilities are in Gautier and D'Iberville. Holland said it's also unfortunate that several people will lose their jobs because of the closings.More >>
  • Coroner: Gulfport murder victim was shot in the groin

    Coroner: Gulfport murder victim was shot in the groin

    Thursday, July 24 2014 6:54 AM EDT2014-07-24 10:54:09 GMT
    According to Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove, Lamont Hayes, 41, was shot in the groin area and bled to death just a few hours later Tuesday night.More >>
    An area of Gulfport still reeling from the brutal murder of a child last week was hit with another violent death Tuesday night. According to Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove, Lamont Hayes, 41, was shot in the groin area and bled to death just a few hours later.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.