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Entertainers, hair stylists and others finally able to file for unemployment

Posted at 9:09 PM, May 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-17 00:11:21-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Thousands of independent contractors and gig workers are finally able to apply for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) with the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

Today was a much-awaited day for those who have been unable to receive unemployment since they lost their jobs two months ago in the Las Vegas valley.

One of them was Kellie Eastwood. She is an entertainment performer at "V - The Ultimate Variety Show" in Las Vegas and for two months not only has she been without work, but also has not received any help from the government.

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Her father, Wally Eastwood, host of the variety show at Planet Hollywood, is well aware what so many other entertainers in town are currently facing.

“I would say that about 90% of the local entertainers are independent contractors and they’ve been struggling extra hard because they’ve had zero help," said Eastwood.

Today, the whole family tried for almost 5 hours to submit Kellie’s claim.

“I feel like we’ve been having an easier time on the website today because we prepped, but we still have been on it for 3 hours. Even though we’re making some headway, it should not be this hard to do. I wish the website was a little bit more user friendly and that the questions were a little bit less vague," said Kellie.


In the end, she received a successful response from the DETR website.

“Definitely a positive day," said her mother Heidi Eastwood.

Others, like master hair colorist Kimberly Figueroa, were able to faster response. She said she had all her paperwork ready before starting her claim and she already had a DETR unemployment profile.

“It probably took maybe 10 minutes altogether just to be sure everything was updated. I still had to upload bank statements and stuff like that. It was pretty simple," said Figueroa.

After accumulating debt during the last few weeks, she looks forward to having her finances back on track as soon as she receives her first payment.

“Just to see the numbers there on the screen, my eyes just got so big. I was like Oh my gosh, this is really happening!" exclaimed Figueroa.

To submit your unemployment claim, you can visit www.detr.nv.gov/pua or call 1-800-603-968.