NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The State Department of Labor says the number of people filing for unemployment claims has tripled as more people face layoffs and losing jobs. 

Thursday, Governor Bill Lee issued an Executive Order that may provide some relief to people struggling. 

The Executive Order allows a person directed to quarantine or isolate because of #COVID-19 by order of medical professional or health authority to collect unemployment if they plan to return to their job and meet other requirements.

Typically, if you are not available and able to work, you are not eligible for unemployment. If you are ordered to quarantine, you are not able to work. Typically, this would disqualify you. The order allows it with the conditions above.

The Executive Order also temporarily suspends the waiting week for unemployed benefits. Typically the state does not pay a claimant the first week of benefits until they certify for four consecutive weeks. Now the payment will start with week one. 

If you’re a business owner, have all of the information about your employees ready. 

“If an employer has to shut down because of COVID-19 and their employees are out of work, if they can provide the state a mass layoff list and give us all the important information we need for that’s in our system and then when the employee comes to file a claim, the computer matches it up and it makes things go much faster,” Cannon said. 

Cannon wants to stress, however, that unemployment benefits from the state work more like a safety net, not a paycheck. 

 “The maximum benefit you can receive is 275 dollars a week! That’s before taxes. Without taxes it’s about 240 dollars a week. That’s the maximum. Not everybody’s going to receive that,” Cannon said. 


Information on COVID-19 Unemployment for Employers

For information on COVID-19 for employees, click here.

For frequently asked questions, click here.

Read the Governor’s Full Executive Order here . is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, 4WARN weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from News4 Nashville.

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