Tennessee suspends unemployment benefits to at least 12,000 due to computer network breakdown

Application for employment benefits form with computer keyboard and pen on white background. Unemployment rate has risen sharply in United States due to closed business caused by corona virus outbreak - stock photo unemployment tile jobs tile

Tennessee is suspending paying unemployment benefits to at least 12,000 unemployed workers due to a computer network breakdown by the vendor that handles the data processing for the state's unemployment benefits program.

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development said that it cannot access jobless claims data to make weekly unemployment benefit payments until its contract vendor, Geographic Solutions Inc., is able to restore network service for the state's unemployment system and labor data exchange, known as Jobs4TN.gov.

State Sen. Paul Bailey, R-Sparta, the chairman of the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee, said the state's labor department should have had a backup system to avoid such a shutdown in services.

"With a recession looming, it is unacceptable that Tennesseans cannot receive the unemployment benefits they deserve," Bailey said in a statement Wednesday.