Woman claims conflicting answers to one PUA claim

Published: Jul. 3, 2020 at 6:09 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - A Reno woman says representatives at Nevada’s Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation (DETR) are giving her conflicting answers desperate questions about getting Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) aid.

Vanessa Jensen lost her job as a bartender March 15, but doesn’t qualify for regular unemployment insurance because of a lack or work history.

This is the reason she’s applying for PUA benefits made possible through the federal CARES Act.

She is going on nearly four months with no income and only has $15 in her savings account making each interaction with DETR critical.

Jensen agreed to answer some very personal questions to allow our readers a clearer picture of the toll this is taking on her.

”How many meals are you eating a day?” Bond.

”I’m managing one meal a day. You know, and I try to make the calories count,” Jensen.

”How much sleep are you getting at night?” Bond.

”Between four and six hours,” Jensen.

”In my opinion that’s not enough sleep. Why aren’t you getting enough sleep?” Bond.

”Stress. I’m walking back and forth. Stressing,” Jensen.

Her stress is caused by uncertainty and the mounting debt she can’t pay right now.

She says she has applied to 50 jobs and just secured one near Lake Tahoe.

On a scale of one to 10, she says her financial pressure is a 10 plus.

“Can you tell me about the process (to get PUA benefits)?” Bond.

”I got through four times in the past five weeks.

I had to call diligently waiting two to three hours on hold...I was told three different things from the PUA call center,” Jensen.

She says she was first told May 2nd that everything should be fine. Three weeks later she was still waiting so she called again.

”The second time they answered the phone the lady told me it required a wet signature and I was supposed to receive a letter in the mail,” Jensen.

The letter never came in the mail, Jensen said.

“The third time I got through I was told that these are active issues and I would have to wait the 21 days from the date of monetary eligibility,” Jensen.

Three different answers, but no payment.

“What would you like to say to Gov. Sisolak?” Bond.

”I feel the energy from him when he speaks on camera that you know he’s being attacked. I don’t think he should have to feel like that. I would never want anyone to feel like that. Get some answers. Everyone should be helping him because it looks like right now he’s standing on his own,” Jensen.

”What would you like to say to Nevada’s Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation?” Bond.

”Shame on people that make them feel bad or unsafe to go to work or just to get up and do their job,” Jensen.

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