Hundreds lose unemployment benefits due to new state law

10:08 PM, Nov 27, 2012   |    comments
The Tennessee Career Center helps East Tennesseans looking for work
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The state's new unemployment law has hundreds of people losing their benefits, and officials say that's because they have not been following the rules and looking for work.

Every week, the state audits 1,000 people to see if they are looking for jobs as required under state law to keep unemployment benefits. Of the audits completed so far, about 400 have failed and lost their benefits. That's saved the state more than $100,000 so far.

Regardless, state officials say once people follow the law, they can get their benefits back.

"It's not necessarily fraud that we're talking about. It has more to do with people don't know that this is a requirement. That's why when people find out they aren't in compliance, they get back on board very quickly," said Jeff Hentschel with the Tennessee Department of Labor.

Also, thousands of unemployment checks went out to people who were not supposed to get them. Now, the Department of Labor is working with the IRS to deduct that money from those people's tax returns.

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