State Awaits Guidance On Federal Stimulus Programs

The recently passed federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) will provide extended unemployment benefits to thousands of Tennesseans. The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD) is currently awaiting guidance from the United States Department of Labor (USDOL) to learn if the unemployment programs contained within ARPA will require any modifications to the current federal programs.

ARPA will extend the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) programs through the week ending Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021.

“States currently have a high-level overview of the unemployment portions of the new stimulus bill. We need to hear from the U.S. Department of Labor to see if there are going to be any program modifications to the current federal unemployment programs,” said Chris Cannon, TDLWD Assistant Administrator of Communications. “If there are, we will need time to make those changes within our computer system and we will work as quickly as possible to make that happen. Our goal is to make the transition as seamless as it can be.”

While waiting on official USDOL guidance, TDLWD and its vendor will proactively work to prepare the unemployment computer system for any possible changes in an effort to minimize implementation time.