Search This Site.

tennessee - Unemployment Benefits and Military retirement pensions.

by Max
(Erwin TN)

I am a retired military person (I served over 20 years.) I receive approximately $2000.00 in Veterans disability and military retirement pay. I currently gross $2000.00 a month with my current employer. I may be losing my job soon due to budget cuts (layoff) Will I be eligible for unemployment until I can find suitable employment? If so, how much? Max

Hi Max,

Of course you will be eligible to receive unemployment because of a layoff, but then the concern becomes a question of what may be considered deductible income .. in Tennessee.

The resource for how all states view whether a pension is deductible or not is at the United States Dept. of Labor. (This link opens in a new window. Click the current year and then "Nonmonetary Eligibility).

Beginning on page 34 deductible income is addressed state by state. Table 5-16 is about retirement pay. It says Tennessee excludes pensions if they are not affected by your base period. So as long as you have been retired at least eighteen months .. I should be able to safely assume the branch of the service you retired from is out of the woods as far as any "unemployment liability" for your benefits so your military pension wouldn't be deductible. The chart makes no mention of disability payments.

If you make approximately 2000 a month, I estimate you'll get about $230 a week before taxes and a little extra from the feds because of the stimulus. The maximum amount for Tennessee unemployment Benefits is $275 a week.


Comments for tennessee - Unemployment Benefits and Military retirement pensions.

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Sep 05, 2010
by: Anonymous

what about Illinois and receiving unemployment benefits if you receive a retirement pension from military?

The resource, where I would look for an answer is linked to in the comment titled:

"Denied Unemployment in Florida because of Military pension and Disability"

Mar 07, 2010
Unemployment Compensation in Bartlett, TN
by: Anonymous

I am in a similar situation but with a twist. I received an early retirement from the military in 1995 and receive about 1000.00 a month from the Navy and another 500.00 a month from the VA as Disability Compensation. Up until March 1st of 2010 my salary was 4513.00 a month where it has been since the last pay cut of 5% in May 2009. Previously it was 4751.00 a month.

My company is getting ready to close it's doors within the next month or two. What Can I expect if anything to be elgible for as far as Unemployment Compensation in TN?


Well, I think the twist is that you won't be receiving UCX unemployment. If you work for a company .. You will just be getting regular unemployment benefits.

Pensions and retirements are "usually" only partially deductible income if it's from a base period employer .. and it doesn't sound like the military is one of your BP employers. TN excludes pensions not effected by the BP.

As far as disability .. it's not a wage or earnings .. therefore I don't believe it would have any effect either.

If you're curious about where I found the information which leads me to these conclusions about TN .. it's the same information I linked to in the previous comment.

Dec 13, 2009
Base period?
by: Anonymous

Regarding your previous explanation...How do you determine your if you retired during your "base period" or before it? What exactly is a base period?


Hi Anonymous,

In Most States the standard base period is the first four of the last five COMPLETED quarters. Some states have alternative or extended base periods if a person can't be monetarily qualified with the standard one.

So, to explain .. if someone files for unemployment now between October 1, 2009 and December 31 2009, their base period would be July 1, 2008 through June 30 2009.

Any employer you worked for within the dates of your base would be a base period employer.


Nov 11, 2009
Denied Unemployment in Florida because of Military pension and Disability
by: Anonymous

I am a 20 year retired vet who was laid off my job in September this year, and Florida informed me I cannot collect unemployment due to my military retirement and disability. If I could live off of those, I wouldn't be trying to work, so how can they justify using that against me. I have no idea, how I am going to get groceries, let alone keep up with my other bills. Can you provide a resource for me or do you only have information for TN?

Hi Anonymous,

The issue of what is "deductible income" as far as unemployment benefits goes is state specific.

The resource I use to find out about ANY state is located at the USDOL by choosing the current year and then .. for this particular information "Nonmonetary Eligibility" (beginning on Page 5-38)

The pension.

It begins with this paragraph ( I have made bold the part to pay close attention to.)

Retirement Payments?FUTA requires states to reduce the weekly benefit amount of any individual by the amount, allocated weekly, of any ?....governmental or other pension, retirement or retired pay, annuity, or any
other similar periodic payment which is based on the previous work of such individual...? This requirement applies only to payments made under a plan maintained or contributed to by a base-period or chargeable employer which affected eligibility for or increased the amount of the retirement pay. States are permitted to reduce benefits on less than a dollar-for-dollar basis by taking into account the contributions made by the worker to the plan in question. (This effectively means the FUTA requirement is limited to 100% employer financed pensions.) Also, the requirement applies only to those payments made on a periodic (as opposed to lump-sum) basis. As a result, the states may have to choose from a variety of options in creating a retirement pay provision.

Then you need to take a look at table 5-16. Florida excludes pensions not affected by base period work.

We need to know what your base period is and we need to know if you retired before that base period or during your base period.

The Disability Payment.

I'm not so sure about .. because you didn't specify where it comes from .. for most non-military it would be SSDI which according to Table 5-17 Florida does not reduce UI benefits.

I say appeal.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Unemployment Benefits Questions.

} }