Woman denied PUA benefits says she’s weeks from selling home

Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 4:13 PM PST
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SPARKS, Nev. (KOLO) -- Sparks woman Kathy Milton says Nevada’s Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation (DETR) denied her PUA claim for reasons that are not true and she can’t get help.

“We are contemplating selling our home. We are down to one running vehicle so we are really trying to hold it together,” Milton.

Her denial letter reads, “The Division was unable to authenticate your identity; Your claim was identified as being filed from a location outside the United States; Your claim was identified as being associated with suspicious activity related to PUA claim filing.”

KOLO 8 News Evening Anchor Noah Bond sat down with her inside her Sparks home and can verify she lives in Nevada.

“Would you be working today if not for the pandemic?” Bond.

“Yes,” Milton.

A medical procedure kept her from working in 2019.

She was cleared to get a job in November of that year, but was unable to secure a job after extensive searches, she says.

She applied for unemployment insurance in January of 2020, but was denied because of her work lack of work history in 2019.

She later applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

“Kathy, you said you called DETR between 60 and 70 hours most weeks for about seven and a half months.” Bond.

“Literally spending 60 to 70 hours a week on hold running through two phone batteries every day and walking around with their phone music on in the background as I attended to my daily chores,” Milton.

“You just told me you got through in July. You talked with someone on the phone. Can you tell me about that?” Bond.

“It was about the end of July and I spoke to a gentleman. He said, ‘I see nothing wrong with your account.’ The question I had was, ‘It said I have unresolved issues. If there’s unresolved issues, can you tell me what they are so I can fix them?’ He said, ‘There are no unresolved issues. There’s nothing wrong with your account and you should be receiving money within 30 days,’” Milton.

“You thoughts about that?” Bond.

“So 30 days later and nothing happened. In the meantime, I kept calling and calling and calling,” Milton.

She says she got a disqualifying letter dated October 9, 2020. It was referred to earlier in this report.

“What would you like to say to DETR?” Bond.

“I believe that they are not given the tools that they need to help the people,” Milton.

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

“I’d like to say you might have hired additional people, but that’s not even enough people to handle the volume of calls and they have not even begun to work on the appeals process. Now we’re hitting phase two (of the COVID-19 pandemic). We’ve never been paid for phase one,” Milton.

She says she’s looking for medical billing work, reception work, and she can run a medical office.

Bond will continue sharing your stories until everyone who applied for and qualifies for unemployment insurance because of the pandemic is paid.

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