During this health and economic crisis, we know that our community members face unprecedented legal challenges. These fact sheets can help you quickly navigate legal and financial hardships related to the COVID-19 pandemic and answer your questions.
Tennessee is a judicial eviction state. This means that in order for your landlord to remove you from a rental property, the landlord must first obtain a Court order and a valid Writ of Possession issued by the Court and carried out by local law enforcement.
If your landlord tries to remove you through self-help measures (examples: changing locks, removing doors, turning off utilities), call your local law enforcement officials and tell them that you have not been taken to Court yet and your landlord is engaging in an illegal self-help eviction. Then call your local Legal Aid of East Tennessee office or complete an online application by clicking here.
The Tennessee Department of Human Services has issued a new policy offering emergency cash assistance for those impacted at this time by using Families First, the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), funds. These funds will be up to $1,000 for a family of 5+ who qualifies and has had a loss of a job as a result of COVID-19. To apply, visit TANF.
The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development will extend unemployment benefits to employees who suddenly find themselves out of work as businesses temporarily cease operations during the pandemic. The department is also extending unemployment benefits to those who are quarantined by a physician for COVID-19 and are temporarily away from their job. The department is also working with the federal government to gain more flexibility in job search requirements. Click here to apply for jobs online.