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Nevada woman cutting corners while waiting for unemployment claim

Unemployment office holds weekly press conference
Nevada metropolitan areas see slight increase in unemployment rate in July
Posted at 10:06 AM, Jun 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-27 01:13:06-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Phone calls, text messages, emails, and social media posts continue to come into 13 Action News about their ongoing unemployment issues.

Many have expressed their financial pain and stress about the lack of unemployment checks from the Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation.

One woman says she was prepared to weather the storm financially but now can’t wait any longer with no money coming in.

Felicia Alava showed a letter from DETR saying she’s approved for an extension in unemployment benefits. That happened back in March.

“I applied for that extension. The week that I applied, I also claimed severance pay, from a job I was laid off from,” she said.

At first, she waited patiently for her issue to be resolved.

“First you don’t call in and don’t make waves because you realize there are people in the valley with small children who are in a worse situation than I am,” Alava said.

She decided to rely on her savings.

“I had a fairly healthy rainy-day fund because you know things can happen and this was before the pandemic,” she said.

However, weeks went by and her savings dried up.

Alava tried to reach DETR’s call center multiple times a day but couldn’t reach a person. She says she had to resort to extreme measures to save money.

“You’re foregoing medicine. You’re eating less and as a Type 2 diabetic, I shouldn’t be doing that, but it’s forcing me to cut corners at every cost,” Alava said.

She believes that the lack of adjudicators may be why her issue has yet to be resolved and says Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak and DETR need to take action now.

“People are hurting, and I know they are aware of that and they need to do something. If it’s keeping adjudicators working 24/7, to get our claims paid because many people are hurting,” she said.

DETR says it has paid a majority of regular unemployment claims, but many have told 13 Action News it isn't what DETR has done so far, it is what they have not done in fixing the money issues they have faced for months.

The Nevada Department of Employment held it's weekly press conference on Friday and said it paid out about 241,000 regular unemployment claims and had about 25,000 claims unpaid due to pending issues.

Officials with the unemployment office also say it has paid out an average of 89% of claims.

For Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or PUA,, DETR says there were 190,262 initial claims with 95,490 paid and 25% not having a weekly claim filed.

DETR also says the appeals module that was slated to be online this week will be delayed until mid-July due to technological issues.

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