UPDATE MAY 16: Nevadans left without work because of the coronavirus pandemic can apply for unemployment assistance through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program starting at 8 a.m.
The PUA program is designed to help self-employed people, gig workers, and those who didn't previously qualify for unemployment assistance.
State unemployment officials are urging people to apply for benefits online before calling into the Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation's Alorica call center.
State staff is expecting a surge of applications.
Nevada PUA benefits will be handled by a dedicated call center at 1-800-603-9681 and online.
The Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation (DETR) worked through the night to launch the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims portal. The system went live at approximately 4:50am. As of 3:00 p.m. today, 18,418 Nevadans have successfully filed claims on the system. As expected, the PUA call center is receiving thousands of calls, and DETR has increased call center staff in response to the volume. DETR staff are tracking the trends reported through the call center and working to create additional self-service documentation for filers. The DETR team is pleased to see thousands of Nevadans accessing and successfully filing PUA claims.
State unemployment officials revealed how people who have been left in the lurch after COVID-19 sent the economy into a tailspin might be eligible for cash assistance.
State authorities revealed details about the program during a news conference on Thursday.
Here are some common questions 13 Action News has received from viewers regarding Nevada PUA (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance)
DOES THIS INCLUDE SELF-EMPLOYED, GIG WORKERS, INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS?
- Yes, PUA will make many workers, including self-employed, gig workers, independent contractors, among others eligible for the cash benefit.
WHY DID IT TAKE SO LONG TO IMPLEMENT PUA?
- The system and the requirements for the program are very complex, and state authorities say they worked 'around the clock' to roll out the new system. State authorities point out Nevada is among six states that rolled out systems recently, and almost none have sent payments yet. PUA is made possible through the CARES ACT, which was signed into law in March.
WILL THE BENEFIT BE BACK DATED, AND IF SO, TO WHAT DATE?
- The benefit will be backdated to Jan. 27, 2020, and people will receive cash, if eligible, and extended through Dec. 31, 2020.
WHAT IS THE AMOUNT OF THE PUA BENEFIT?
- The state will determine the benefit amount on a case by case basis, but the minimum amount will be $181 per week up to a maximum of $469 per week.
DOES THE PUA BENEFIT MAKE RECIPIENTS ELIGIBLE FOR ADDITIONAL UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT?
- Yes, individuals will receive the additional $600 per week payment provided by the federal government.
WILL POTENTIAL PUA INDIVIDUALS CALL A SEPARATE NUMBER?
- Yes, Nevada PUA benefits will be handled by a dedicated call center at 1-800-603-9681 and online.
State authorities plan to release more information on Friday.