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Las Vegas residents speak out about missing $600 unemployment benefit

Residents describe struggles to pay basic bills
DETR
Posted at 10:58 AM, Jul 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-30 15:33:41-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — NOTE: The Nevada Department of Employment, Rehabilitation and Training is now saying that it expects to be able to pay the missing $600 benefit next week. READ MORE.

Multiple people have notified 13 Action News through phone calls, emails and messages on social media that they did not receive their final pandemic assistance benefit this week.

For the last several months, Deborah Candelario has woken up to two weekly text alerts on Tuesday.

"It'll tell you your base amount has been deposited and then you get a second text telling you the other amount has been deposited," she said.

That second deposit is $600 from the federal CARES Act and this Tuesday that text didn't come... neither did the money.

Nevadans continue to face unemployment issues

"It clearly says expires July 31, will be paid through July 25 and that is the end of our workweek according to unemployment," Candelario said.

The $600 benefit is set to expire on July 31. However, since July 31 falls on a Friday, the last actual payout was July 26.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of Nevada residents, woke up on Tuesday morning expecting that extra money to be in their bank accounts. And Candelario says while she is not depending on that money to survive, but knows many people are.

"There are people out there who are probably like, it's my last $600 but at least I'll be able to pay my rent," Candelario said.

13 Action News spoke to several people who did not want to go on camera but say they are struggling to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.

John Williams, a teamster, is typically working to set up conventions and concerts. While he said he has enough money to pay his rent and bills, that $600 is a buffer.

"$480 is owed this Friday," he said. "I do have the money aside but I wanted the other money to breathe."

13 Action News reached out to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation. This is their response:

DETR has identified an error in the UI system and staff is working to correct the issue, which has resulted in some claimants reporting they have not received the additional $600 in federal pandemic unemployment compensation this week. The issue is expected to be resolved tomorrow and all payments will be caught up shortly after the issue is resolved. DETR will share further updates if additional issues arise.

As a reminder, claimants file for benefits reflecting the previous week, meaning the first day to file for the week ending July 25 began on July 26. All claimants who are eligible for the federal pandemic unemployment compensation payment will be paid the benefit, including those eligible for retroactive benefits.

Tuesday is deadline for Nevada's unemployment department to pay PUA claims

And while many are waiting for the $600 benefit to be transferred, thousands are still waiting for their first PUA and UI payments.

"$16,440 they owe me. It's criminal," said a longtime Las Vegas realtor, who says she has yet to receive any money from DETR after more than 20 weeks of filing weekly claims for PUA.

She told 13 Action News that she's been informed of her eligibility for benefits and that there's no longer a fraud hold on her claims. However, she is still waiting.

"Since the beginning, like clockwork, I file. And nothing," she said. "My life is really in jeopardy here. My family's life is in jeopardy here because of someone's inability to hit the pay button."

Anthony Mills said he is in a similar situation, waiting on an estimated $10,000 in unemployment benefits.

"I've been living off of part-time hours and I have to pay rent for my apartment, I have to put food on the table. I have to pay my bills. And it's nearly impossible," he said.

Mills has a young daughter and said he's been getting help from his grandparents to make ends meet. He is working part-time at a restaurant in the South Point hotel-casino but is still relying on thousands in back pay.

"I'm glad I got a little money coming in through my job but if that unemployment would've come, everything would've been a lot easier," Mills said.

Recent data from DETR shows there are more than 20,000 claimants with "pending issues" in the system, with more than 225,000 claims paid in the last week.