Woman says she’s filed for unemployment 29 times, still waiting on check

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Despite falling unemployment rates across the state of Tennessee, Shelby County continues to lead the state in unemployment. However, some people still haven’t received a dime.

One woman says she’s been waiting for her unemployment check for months.

“I called, left messages and emails, did live chats and nothing yet,” said Jewel Norman.

Norman says she feels like she’s been running in circles since she was laid off from her job at the Department of Veteran Affairs back in March.

According to a letter, due to the financial impact of COVID-19, the VA had to make operating changes and that included terminating her.

They suggested she file for unemployment, which she has — 29 times since June.

“They sent me all the documents I need. I got two letters saying I’m eligible for unemployment and to send these documents in. I sent those documents in and everything,” she said. “Nothing.”

Norman says she’s constantly been in contact with the unemployment office but has yet to receive any money or answers.

She says she’s tried to get a new job but hasn’t had any luck. Now, she’s depending on family to help her pay the bills.

We took her concerns to the state and a spokesman said Norman had marked she worked for a federal employer, and the state does not have access to federal employees’ information.

The spokesman said they reached out to the employer but the VA failed to respond, which Norman says can’t be true.

The state says they plan on reaching out to Norman and the VA to help her get her unemployment. The state also says Norman did not file all of her paperwork. 

We’ve reached out to the VA for comment.

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