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Frustrations abound over appeals process for PUA applicant

Posted at 5:48 PM, Nov 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-16 22:36:24-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Demanding money they feel is rightfully theirs. Frustration continues with DETR as many navigate the appeals process while they wait to receive unemployment benefits.

“I just want what’s mine, and I want them to give me my money.”

RELATED STORY: Those still awaiting unemployment money feel helpless, hopeless, on hold

Howard Booker has been waiting for months to get unemployment benefits. He applied in June and is still waiting to get an answer.

“I’ve given them everything. I’ve called them every single day. I’ve waited on the phone for hours,” he said.

Booker then got a notice this month saying, he was disqualified from PUA and owed money due to overpayments. He says he hasn’t even seen a dime from DETR yet.

“I shouldn’t be disqualified because I’ve given them everything they’ve asked for,” Booker said.

RELATED STORY: PUA claims fall after spike in the last two weeks

So far, DETR says more than 631,000 initial PUA claims had been filed with them since it started in May. The agency also says some people may be denied PUA because they are eligible for regular unemployment or received over-payments due to different earnings on documents.

Booker says he appealed the over-payment issue and got that resolved. However, he isn’t able to file an appeal on his disqualification saying that option didn’t appear on his online dashboard with Monday being the last day to file. Booker says he’s called numerous times with no clear answer.

“You don’t give me the option to do it, as you guys claimed you have, then how do I do it. How can I handle business when I don’t have the means to handle it?” he said.

Booker is already using credit cards and asking family for help to make ends meet. With the holidays approaching, he doesn’t know how long he can survive financially.

“There’s still no relief out here. None. I don’t know what to do,” Booker said.

DETR says it doesn’t comment on specific PUA claims, but did say the appeals deadline was waived due to volume.