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Gov. Sisolak assigns strike team, acting director to Nevada's unemployment division

Steve Sisolak_file.PNG
Posted at 12:20 PM, Aug 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-07 02:35:56-04

CARSON CITY (KTNV) — Gov. Steve Sisolak held a press conference on Thursday to provide an update on Nevada's Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation.

The press conference on DETR was held inside the Old Assembly Chamber of the Nevada State Capitol.

Nevada residents still not satisfied with DETR answers

Gov. Sisolak said he called the press conference to talk about the immediate action that is being taken to find solutions and reduce the backlog for Nevadans who have not received their unemployment benefits.

"One individual, one family going without benefits they deserve and need to pay the bills, put food on the table, is one too many," Gov. Sisolak said.

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DETR and the governor have been heavily criticized for the handling of unemployment payments in the state of Nevada since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

Thousands of people say they are still waiting for their claims to be processed and have gone months without an income.

Thursday, the governor said Nevada has the highest unemployment rate in the nation, and DETR is paying roughly 90 percent of the eligible traditional unemployment insurance claims each week.

But he also acknowledged there is much more that needs to be done. The governor put forward legislation (SB3) which is intended to provide more flexibility to DETR and help connect claimants to benefits faster. It will also extend the number of weeks Nevadans are eligible for additional benefits through the crisis, using federal funds.

The governor appointed Barbara Buckley to lead a rapid response effort – a strike force – on unemployment insurance and Elisa Cafferata as the new Acting Director of DETR.

Gov. Sisolak also said the state has to ensure program integrity and work to prevent and detect fraud across Nevada's unemployment insurance programs - with the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance reportedly the focus of much of the fraudulent activity.

"Together, we are taking every action possible to review flagged files for patterns, cut off fraudulent claims, and root out bad actors. The state has no tolerance for bad actors who are attempting to take advantage of either the traditional unemployment insurance system or the federally funded Pandemic Unemployment System," Gov. Sisolak said.

Watch the entire 3 p.m. press conference below:

#LIVE: Gov. Sisolak holds 3 p.m. press conference to update Nevada’s current unemployment situation amid the pandemic. bit.ly/30Bt1sy

Posted by KTNV Channel 13 Action News on Thursday, August 6, 2020