LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Some unemployment applicants are facing an uncertain future as the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefit comes to an end.
The federal government did not extend the program and so now the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation says after Saturday it will focus only on regular Unemployment Insurance.
“I’ve gone through all my savings and I’m still trying to help people. I’m doing some for free, but I can’t live on free. I have to pay my rent. I have to pay my bills and things like that.”
Cheryl Dille-Goodrich is a therapist and is also a PUA claimant. She’s been in limbo, frustrated it has been taking time for her identity to be verified so she can get her benefits.
“When I called PUA and talked to them about that they said, you haven’t made a claim in a long time and I said yeah, between you and DETR it’s been over six months,” she said.
Dille-Goodrich says PUA's end comes at a bad time. She says the pandemic is still going on—and there are people still trying to figure out how to make ends meet.
“COVID-19 and the masking and the vaccines and the variants of that have not come to a conclusion,” she said.
DETR says PUA is one of three federal programs that will end, and it will now focus on regular unemployment.
Its latest numbers show more than 40,000 people still filed claims under PUA.
Director Elisa Cafferata says PUA claimants undergoing appeals will still get their benefits once it’s cleared up but no brand new PUA applicants will be accepted.
“So anyone who has weeks they’re eligible for, if they’re in appeals or adjudication, that support is still there,” she said.
Cafferata says DETR has been letting claimants know federal programs would be ending with no extension. She says there are still many resources available for job seekers to help find employment.
“There’s help with your resume or interview skills. There are job listings. We have training, and a lot of times we can pay for the training, so you can get new skills,” she said.
Dille-Goodrich believes the federal benefits like PUA should have been extended.
“The fact that it’s ending when some people haven’t even begun it and it’s still going on, that’s not fair to them,” she said.
DETR says people who are unemployed before Sept. 4 and are eligible to get benefits for this week have until Sept. 18 to file for them.
We have a link to additional resources mentioned in the story here.