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Tennessee state website outage impacting unemployment claims, job seekers

UPDATE, JULY 5 – The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development said Monday that is back online.
According to the department, the state’s vendor, Geographic Solutions Inc. completed the restoration of the state’s unemployment and workforce development computer system on Sunday. GSI experienced what it has called “anomalous activity” at its network operation centers on June 26. The anomalous activity caused the company to take, and systems for approximately three dozen other states, offline.
Both the unemployment and workforce development functions of are once again operating.
Those who need to file a new unemployment claim, or complete weekly certifications, should follow the instructions below:
File a new claim
You can file your claim now.
Even though you could not apply between June 25 and July 2, that will still be the claim’s effective date if you meet eligibility requirements.
Complete the filing process by July 8 at 4:30 p.m. so staff can review your claim and set the correct effective date.
After you file your claim and staff complete an initial review, you will receive an email with instructions explaining when to start your weekly certifications.
Staff will need to review your application to determine the eligibility of your claim and that will take multiple weeks to complete.
Completing weekly certifications
If you were able to complete weekly certifications before the system outage, you can now restart that process.
Because you could not certify for the week ending June 25, you now need to complete certifications for that week and the week ending July 2.
The system will prompt you to complete this process for both weeks.
Monday, July 4, was a bank holiday, so payments will be delayed by a day.

UPDATE, JULY 1 – As of Friday morning, remains offline.
The site’s vendor, Geographic Solutions Inc., issued the following statement late Wednesday afternoon: “We recently identified anomalous activity on our network, and immediately took the Jobs4TN system offline to halt the activity. With the help of third-party specialists, we are conducting a full investigation to determine the cause and scope of the incident. That investigation is still ongoing, and we are taking steps to help prevent this from happening again. Our current focus is working around the clock to bring Jobs4TN back online. We anticipate that this will occur prior to the July 4th holiday.“
The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development said the latest information from GSI indicates no personal data was accessed, and no data was removed from its network operations center.

ORIGINAL STORY — The website is currently down because of a problem involving the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s site vendor, Geographic Solutions Inc.
The outage, which the Labor Department said is impacting about three dozen other states, means weekly unemployment benefit payments in Tennessee may not be processed on time and job seekers can’t use the website to look for work.
In a news release Tuesday evening, the department said it was notified by GSI on Sunday afternoon about a service interruption  affecting its network operations.
GSI met Monday with Tennessee Labor Department and state information technology officials to provide an initial overview of the issues at its network operation centers.
Tuesday, department leadership continued communications with GSI and the U.S. Department of Labor about the service outage.
Until resumes normal operation, the department can’t access claimant data to make weekly unemployment benefit payments, according to the release.
However, job seekers can still take advantage of services at one of the 80 American Job Centers across the state.
The Tennessee Labor Department said it will distribute benefits as soon as possible, but right now there is no timeline as to when that will happen. Once the system is operational, claimants can complete their certifications for any missed weeks, and they will receive a lump sum for any delayed payments.
Anyone who needs to file a new unemployment claim must wait for further instructions on how to apply once the system is operational.
The department did not cite a reason for GSI’s technical difficulties, but published news reports are referring to the situation as a cyberattack.

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