Lenior City mother of 3 waiting for unemployment benefits, seeking job


LENOIR CITY, Tenn. (WATE) — Talks in Washington continue to sputter on extending the stimulus bill for millions of people who are unemployed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Priscilla White is among those unemployed waiting and hoping. White says she wants to work again and has applied for several jobs after losing hers five months ago.

Records show the mother of three is eligible for state benefits, but she has already lost her car and her apartment after being unable to make monthly payments.

White is grateful that she has her mother to depend on during these last stressful five months. Priscilla, a single mom, has been out of work since early March.

She said after being late for work, she was dismissed from her job as a cook. Three months ago, she started filing for unemployment benefits.

She says not being able to adequately care for her three boys has been the toughest part of losing her job.

“They let me go,” White said. “Then I waited a few months tried looking for employment, other places, that weren’t high risk for the COVID. Ended up filing for unemployment two months later.

“Here it shows my benefit amount of $160 that I should be receiving. How much they would take out in federal. The payment is still zero. I filed my claim of unemployment in May. It’s been 11 weeks. I haven’t received anything.

“My case is under review. And it’s an active case. (It is) very frustrating, just waiting and waiting. Trying to make ends meet is extremely hard. I ended up losing my car, losing my home. Lost about everything due to this.”

Priscilla’s mother, Patricia Stanford, says she’s tried to support her daughter in every way possible to just survive day-to-day.

“I just don’t know what to do to help,” Stanford said. “I’ve been taking her around to places job hunting. They keep telling her to keep certifying, and she would get her back pay but nothing.”

Priscilla understands the state Labor Department has been overwhelmed with several hundred thousand Tennesseans filing for COVID-19 and regular unemployment benefits. The state has hired extra employees to work through the backlog of people who have had issues with unemployment.

She wants to be able to provide for her kids

“They are my world,” White says.

“I want to see her get what she deserves; which is her backpay that she has worked for and get it all approved so she can get back on her feet,” Patricia Stanford said.

Priscilla White’s case is being reviewed by an adjudicator at the Tennessee Department of Labor.


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