Unemployment & Insurance Claims Fast-Tracked For Wildfire Impacted Employees And Residents

Recent wildfires have destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses in the greater Gatlinburg area. In an effort to provide relief to those impacted with loss of homes or employment, local members of the Tennessee General Assembly have lobbied the State of Tennessee to quickly process both insurance claims and unemployment claims. With the loss of several businesses many are questioning just how they will pay the bills and provide for their families due to loss of employment.

Generally, the filing of unemployment can be a lengthy process, however that will not be the case for employees displaced by the recent wildfire. Starting today, November 30, 2016, a mobile unit will be on location at the First Baptist Church 3290 Park Way Pigeon Forge to expedite unemployment claims. District 11 Representative Jeremy Faison stated “ If there is anyway that the government can offer any help to the people who have been devastated then we are committed to doing it. While it is always a hardship to be without income, it is especially difficult this time of year. The mobile units will be able to help people now rather than having a long waiting period.”

The mobile unit at the First Baptist Church Peigon Forge is just the first of several units that are expected to arrive in the area. District 17 Representative Andrew Farmer said “ In addition to the unemployment unit, there will be units deployed to expedite insurance claims filings, to help individuals and businesses get on the road to recovery as soon as possible. The State of Tennessee is going to go all out for our citizens that were impacted by the fires.”

Credible reports are calling the downtown area of Gatlinburg and the artist community largely intact. Currently, the largest impact to the downtown tourist section appears to be infrastructure. According to reports, it is likely business will be able to resume by late next week and people are encourage to visit Gatlinburg to shop, play and stay. Though there are still infrastructure challenges ahead, most notably with electricity and gas, officials are hopeful that the Burg can be up and running as soon as the utilities are restored.

As soon as information is available on expedited insurance claims and the location of mobile units to process those claims the Jefferson County Post will update times and locations. In the meanwhile, those employees that need to file for unemployment benefits can find immediate assistance at the First Baptist Church in Pigeon Forge.