Woman receives unemployment benefits with help from News 2

Woman receives unemployment benefits with help from News 2 (Image 1)

Many Tennesseans are finding themselves out of work and in need of help from the state's unemployment system.

Some, however, are running into problems trying to collect unemployment benefits they desperately need.

Susan Collins of Fairview was laid off from her job of nearly 30 years.

“I never expected to be laid off and I didn't realize it would be so difficult getting unemployment. I thought it was going to be simple, but I was wrong,” said Collins.

She spent nearly seven weeks trying to reach the state's unemployment office everyday by phone but no one answered.

Instead, she kept getting a message telling her to try again later.

Frustrated, Collins contacted Nashville's News 2.

“I'm very frustrated and I'm sure other Tennesseans are as well,” said Collins.

A spokesperson for the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development said the agency is dealing with high call volume and many unemployed Tennesseans are experiencing the same problem as Collins.

She answered a question incorrectly during her weekly certification online and instead of being able to correct it she was unable to proceed and was instructed to call the claims center. No one answered.

The state promises an upgrade this month that will allow people to fix their mistakes without having to call the Department of Labor to fix the answers for them.

Collins finally got the benefits she needed.

“After the interview aired on Monday night a nice lady from the state called on Tuesday morning and straightened everything out and apologized and said that all due money would be in my account by Friday.  I'm thankful to News 2,” said Collins.

The department says the upgrade is in the process of being tested and should go live in the coming days.

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