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Nevada unemployment office offers Pandemic Unemployment Assistance filing system

Independent contractors, gig workers, and self-employed can file
Nevada unemployment rate rises slightly
Posted at 4:40 PM, May 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-16 00:02:47-04

MAY 15 UPDATE: The Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation (DETR) held a another virtual news conference on Friday to discuss the launch of Nevada’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) filing system.

DETR says they are already receiving calls and is asking for filers to wait until the system is ready on Saturday.

Watch press conference in the player above.

ORIGINAL STORY
The Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation (DETR) held a virtual news conference on Thursday to announce the launch of Nevada’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) filing system.

DETR Director Heather Korbulic said her team is launching a new system that will handle PUA claims starting at 8 a.m. on May 16. These claims will include unemployment benefits for independent contractors, gig workers, self-employed, and others in this category.

Nevada continues to waive work search requirements for unemployment

The new filing system will be independent of the traditional Unemployment Insurance (UI) system. It will streamline claims for those filing for PUA benefits with payments starting May 23, according to department officials.

The unemployment office will also offer claimants a dedicated website and call center for all PUA related questions at 1-800-603-9681.

The website can be found here, with both available starting Saturday at 8 a.m.

Officials say the PUA program is a provision available under the federal CARES Act and is designed to offer unemployment benefits to independent contractors and others historically unable to qualify for traditional unemployment insurance benefits.

The following individuals may be eligible for PUA:

-self-employed, 1099 contract workers, and gig workers;
-employees whose wages are not reported for unemployment insurance;
-employees who have not earned enough wages or worked enough hours for standard unemployment benefits due to COVID-19;
-or people who were unemployed or going to start work but could not due to COVID-19.

People making the claims must also be available for work as defined in state law, must have prior earnings in Nevada or a job offer to work in Nevada. They must not be eligible for any UI benefits, including regular UI, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, and State Extended Benefits, according to the unemployment office.

“We are excited to partner with GeoSol to provide this critical resource to eligible Nevadans. We know there is a high demand and expect our call center and claims portal to be very busy the first few days,” said DETR director, Heather Korbulic. “The Division and our dedicated staff have been working day and night to stand up this system and we look forward to the relief it will bring to tens of thousands of Nevadans.”

Staff is expected to closely monitor the new PUA site with the phone line available on May 16-17 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. After the first weekend, operating hours for the PUA call center will be 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday – Friday and 8 a.m. – noon on Saturdays.

The Alorica call center will no longer take general information calls starting at 8 p.m. Thursday, as staff prepares for the transition.

Questions about standard Unemployment Insurance can be answered by visiting here and through the DETR call centers at (702) 486-0350 and (775) 684-0350.

Unemployment claims continue to rise in Nevada, extended benefits triggered

The US Department of Labor says states are permitted to provide Pandemic Unemployment Assistance to individuals who are self-employed, seeking part-time employment, or who otherwise would not qualify for regular unemployment compensation.

The PUA program provides up to 39 weeks of benefits, which are available retroactively starting with weeks of unemployment beginning on or after January 27, 2020, and ending on or before December 31, 2020.

The amount of benefits paid out will vary by state and are calculated based on the weekly benefit amounts (WBA) provided under a state’s unemployment insurance laws. Under the CARES Act, the WBA may be supplemented by the additional unemployment assistance provided under the Act, according to the US Department of Labor.

The PUA unemployment benefits will also follow the same rules as those of standard claims with the maximum amount received of $469 a week with access to the federal funding assistance of an additional weekly $600 benefit.