State to end dependant allowance payments to unemployed

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development announced today that eligible unemployment insurance claimants with children will see their dependent allowance payments end on July 1.

Since June 2010, claimants supporting minor children have been receiving $15 per child, to a maximum of $50, as a dependent allowance added to their weekly unemployment benefit amount.

In 2009, Tennessee received one-time federal funds of about $141.8 million as an incentive grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to strengthen the rapidly depleting state Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and continue providing unemployment insurance payments, including the dependent benefit. Those provisions were enacted as permanent law that the Tennessee General Assembly recently repealed.

“This action taken by the legislature is another step that will increase savings to the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund," Burns Phillips (pictured), labor department commissioner, said in a release. "The healthier the Trust Fund, the lower the tax table that determines premium rates for Tennessee employers. The Trust Fund balance is currently $799 million and is on a positive path to maintain solvency and stability in the event of another recession. Tennessee, unlike 22 states in the nation, has no outstanding loan from the Federal Unemployment Account.”

For claimants currently receiving unemployment, the last payable week to receive dependent benefits will be the week that ends June 29. Claimants filing new claims for unemployment benefits on June 30 may be eligible to receive only one week of dependency benefits (for the week that ends July 6). Any unemployment payments for weeks ending after that date will not include dependent allowances.