NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – A member of a local Facebook group is focusing on unemployment problems in Tennessee and speaking out about his issues while thousands of others are still waiting in limbo.
Chris Weaver is part of a group called “Tennessee Unemployment Nightmare” a way to connect those reliving similar situations, those stuck in unemployment limbo.
"I ended up becoming the voice for these 1,800 on Facebook, and they need some attention,” Weaver said.
The Facebook page has tons of complaints from several people wondering why they have not received their benefits.
“When I started with it over a week ago, there was only 800 people there. Now it’s double,” Weaver said.
Weaver said he knows their nightmares all too well. He’s been waiting weeks for his money to arrive. He says he applied even before the pandemic began.
“When I signed up, COVID-19 wasn’t a choice. The only thing regarding any sort of devastating event was the Tennessee tornado,” Weaver said. "So I, chose that because it fell under that same category. I thought, OK, great, well they’re just going to roll all of this into the pandemic. I’ll just keep certifying."
However, nothing happened, according to Weaver.
“No one ever contacted me. I never received a phone call. I never received anything in the mail,” Weaver said.
Weaver contacted everyone, from senators to the governor, himself.
“The letter that you saw I sent to Governor [Bill] Lee and several senators that I reached out to, they were really, very quickly responsive. And sending tickets on my behalf,” Weaver said.
Yet, Weaver said he still got no response.
“Eight weeks in, first come in line. You gotta take care of me,” Weaver said.
News 4 reached out to the Department of Labor about Weaver’s issue. They replied with the following statement from DOL Assistant Administrator Chris Cannon:
“Mr. Weaver’s claim was marked Disaster Unemployment Assistance and he noted he was separated from employment due to the March 3 tornado. This stopped his claim until the Department could take a closer look at it.
They have gone in and manually moved the DUA claim over to a Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claim and it will be set for payment tonight.
Let me know if you need any additional information."
While Weaver said he is relieved, he is still worried about the nearly 1800 people in the group, still stuck in their nightmare.
“All these people need help. But they at least need answers,” Weaver said.