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Nevada residents still not satisfied with answers after Facebook Live with DETR

Rep. Susie Lee spoke with DETR Wednesday
Posted at 9:38 PM, Jul 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-30 13:35:44-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Unemployment payments should have been made by now, but some have not seen a dime.

Many Nevadans filing for unemployment insurance or the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance say they have never received any money in the last four months and the situation is becoming unbearable for them.

DETR site down for maintenance

One of those Nevadans is Shannon Bishop, who previously worked at a restaurant while taking care of her ill mother.

For 4 months, Bishop says she has been calling every day to get her unemployment insurance claim approved. However, her claim remains pending.

“I have reached the point where my bills can no longer wait to be paid. My unemployment has yet to come through. So. it’s been very difficult. I started calling unemployment immediately. I made 180 to 250 phone calls a day, somewhere in that range," said Bishop.

She says she was able to get a hold of an employee at the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation call center at the beginning of May and after submitting the paperwork, her claim has been pending.

“I have been told repeatedly by them that there’s nothing that they can do, no help that they can offer, just a waiting game and that other people have been waiting just as long, if not longer," Bishop said.

Nevada unemployment office blames system error for missing $600 benefit

During a Facebook Live session held Wednesday with Nevadans, DETR administrator Kimberly Gaa addressed why there’s a backlog on claims.

“Currently for the traditional unemployment insurance we have about 23,000 claims that are pending decisions. So, that is more than 570,000 claims that have been received. We’re paying about 90% of those eligible claims currently. If a claim is needing the full adjudications process for traditional UI, it is running about 6 or 8 weeks," Gaa said.

According to Gaa, DETR has been working with their vendor and hope to have be able to pay thousands of people within 10 to 15 days.

Rep. Susie Lee also participated in the Facebook Live session.

"Many constituents have told me that their claim has had no pending issues, but in another part of the portal it says pending issues. People obviously want to resolve the issue, but many say they can’t get through on the phones," Rep. Lee said.

Gaa responded saying in part “it means we’re verifying something, we’re looking at the eligibility of what we’re validating and that may take several days or weeks to do."

However, these answers were not enough for many, some even shared their frustration during the Facebook Live session.

Bishop says they need their payments now in order to survive.