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PUA Problem: Claimant says $15K back payment never landed in account

Posted at 6:59 PM, Jan 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-08 22:45:16-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Over the past nine months, Christopher Martin became very familiar with the words "in progress."

"My claims were 'in progress' mode pending all the way since I filed in March to now," said Martin.

RELATED: 13 Action News asks DETR about claims of cards being accessed illegally

Martin began filing weekly claims for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program in late March, after the company he worked for shut down. So began a months-long process of trying to get payments - with little progress.

"First I got a message from [the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation] saying they needed to verify my identity," he remembered. "This is, I think, back in July."

Martin said he submitted the forms that very day.

RELATED: TIMELINE | Nevada Dept. of Employment and handling of pandemic unemployment claims

A month later, he got another verification request, this time through the third-party system ID ME.

"And then I got another message in October saying that they couldn't verify my identity," he said of DETR's third request for identity verification.

Martin continued to jump through DETR's hoops for months without seeing a dime. At that time, he could no longer make car payments, so he lost his car. He could no longer pay rent, so he moved in with his father who is in hospice care.

But on Dec. 15 good news appeared in his portal.

RELATED: Some claimants report DETR is giving 'no explanations' following account issues

"I saw that all my weekly payments going back to March had finally shown. They were no longer in progress, and the payment was issued," he said. "And there were transaction numbers for the payments."

He waited for the payment to land in his bank account, but the payment never came.

He called DETR.

"They told me the payment was returned by my bank because the account number was invalid," he said, "but I know that's not true because I got last week's payment for the $161."

"So I just didn't get the lump sum going back to March," Martin said.

In December, he had begun receiving regular weekly payments but never the lump sum, which had ballooned to more than $15,000.

RELATED: DETR says it is still working on problems with debit cards, Bank of America

13 Action News reached out to DETR about this issue and a spokesperson said the agency does not comment on specific cases but said there is no system issue.

Based on the experience of other claimants, Martin's case does not appear to be a one-off glitch.

More than a week into the new year, Martin is still waiting.

"It's one thing that it's 'in progress' and you haven't received it, but it's another thing when they're telling you you received over $15,000 and you haven't," said Martin.