Seeking answers from DETR

Published: Jun. 17, 2020 at 7:58 PM PDT
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SPARKS, Nev. (KOLO) - KOLO 8 News Now is digging deeper to get answers for you.

We learned last week there are only 35 trained adjudicators to process what appears to be tens of thousands of unemployment claims.

KOLO 8 Evening Anchor Noah Bond contacted Nevada's Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) to get some answers.

He asked spokeswoman Rosa Mendez via email to explain the process taking place to add more workers.

Mendez said she would add this question to the list for DETR Director Heather Korbulic to answer during this Friday's news conference at 10:00 a.m.

Meanwhile, many Nevadans are in a financial crisis. Some people who have contacted Bond say they are at risk of losing their home and car.

Margie Kikaka, who says she is doing fine financially, applied for unemployment benefits in April because she was unable to find work as a paralegal due to the pandemic.

“Here we are now June 17. Where are you at today?” asked Bond.

“Zero funds. Zero funds. Zero communication,” said Kikaka.

She says what she is getting are recorded messages when she calls DETR for help.

“Then there’s long pauses like this in between,” Kikaka says as she hold her phone for Bond to hear so that he can understand what she experiences every time she calls.

The call lasted 4 minutes and 14 seconds before the recorded voice could be heard to say, "We're sorry. All representatives are busy at this time. Please try your call later. Thank you."

The phone hangs up on Kikaka.

"At one point I probably tried about 125 calls for the day to see if I could get through. I never did," she said.

“When you’re calling day in and day out for hours a day what does that do to your mentally and emotionally?” asked Bond.

Oh it’s frustrating because you’re at such a loss like if I could at lease find out why. I wasn’t getting paid or when it would happen. I’m OK with that, but to just be out there and not know nothing is the hard part,” said Kikaka.

“Margie, what would you like to say to the Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation?” asked Bond.

“I think they need more people to answer questions,” said Kikaka.

“Margie, what would you like to say to Gov. Sisolak?” asked Bond.

“He needs to open up some kind of communication where we can send in questions or concerns because right now there’s nothing,” said Kikaka.

“What do you think about that?” asked Bond.

“It’s very poor,” said Kikaka.

Bond will continue to share the stories of Nevadans who are suffering until Nevada government leaders develop a better system to serve the people who lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

Copyright 2020 KOLO. All rights reserved.

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