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State officials address unemployment filing concerns, beefing up staffing

employment office
Posted at 5:53 PM, Mar 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 01:55:26-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Unemployment claims have been flooding phone lines here in Clark County, with many workers laid off or furloughed. Frustration has been growing with workers dealing with long call waits and issues online in filing their claims.

More than a hundred calls, that’s how many times Adam Balesteri has tried to reach the state unemployment office in one day.

“About 12 actually rang through. Every time it rang through, I went through the promptings, and then it would tell me all operators were busy,” he said.

It’s a frustrating response.

Balesteri was furloughed from his optometry job with nonessential businesses closing with the coronavirus pandemic. He was told to call the helpline to reset his password in order to file a claim online.

“I’m just simply without a way to speak to anyone which means I don’t have any way of getting money to survive,” he said.

The Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation or DETR says it had a “monumental” amount of inquiries in the last few days, especially by phone. Officials say they understand Balesteri’s concerns.

“They’ve probably never thought they would be in the situation again and then we get COVID 19 and they find themselves here again,” Rosa Mendez, public information officer for DETR, said.

She says those with online issues can email them to resolve their concerns at INTERNETHELP@detr.nv.gov. They’re also working on beefing up their staffing to handle the volume of claims.

“So, we are actually reallocating folks already, and we have, and as they become available, we’re going to keep doing that. We’re also hiring new folks,” she said.

Officials continue encouraging people to file claims online and reserve the phone lines for people who don’t have internet access. They also ask people with questions to check their resources tab, which includes answers to frequently asked questions, how to file a claim online, and a handbook. Those resources can be found on their website to file a claim.

“It talks about benefit rights, eligibility, duration of benefits - all that can be answered by those documents. You don’t have to pick up the phone to call somebody to get that answer because it’s already there.”

Balesteri says he understands the department is busy and hopes there is a quick resolution.

“Hopefully, the efforts are going to work, and people like myself are not going to be locked out of something that is so vital,” he said.

Below are the phone numbers to call for assistance and website(s) for resources:

  • Southern NV Claim Center (702) 486-0350 Can file claims over the phone M-F 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. (extended hours)
  • Northern NV Claim Center (775) 684-0350 Can file claims over the phone M-F 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. (extended hours)
  • Toll Free Claim Center (888) 890-8211Can file claims over the phone M-F 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. (extended hours)
  • Website to file claims ui.nv.gov - This also has FAQ and resource guides for your use
  • Southern Security Help Desk (702) 486-3293 to help reset usernames or passwords
  • Northern Security Help Desk (775) 687-6838 to help reset usernames or passwords
  • Bank of America (888) 339-8569 for debit card questions