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140,000 calls to PUA line on opening day

During the nine weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic Idaho has received 136,901 initial unemployment claims, which is 2.3 times the total number of initial claims filed in 2019. (Source: Pixabay)
During the nine weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic Idaho has received 136,901 initial unemployment claims, which is 2.3 times the total number of initial claims filed in 2019. (Source: Pixabay)(KMVT)
Published: Jun. 4, 2020 at 1:51 PM PDT
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On Monday, June 1, 2020 the PUA adjudication line became operational and responsible for reviewing and resolving PUA eligibility issues presently holding back payments.

The adjudication line phone number is only provided to individuals who received additional notices and updates through their EmployNV client portal mailbox instructing them to call.

On the PUA adjudication line’s first day of operation, the PUA call center received nearly 140,000 PUA claims and adjudication calls. The PUA call center continues to experience high call volume and is providing answers to questions and assisting claimants with filing claims.

Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation Rosa Mendez says, "Claimants requiring adjudication of issues are notified to contact the PUA Adjudication center for assistance in the order by which they filed their claim. Calling the dedicated adjudication line when you have not been instructed to do so will not expedite your claim and prevents other claimants from reaching adjudication and receiving their payments in a timely manner."

"Likewise, trying to secure assistance by reaching out directly to DETR staff or vendor employees ties up phone lines and prevents claimants from receiving necessary support," Mendez.

Individuals with general questions about claims and the PUA process should call the general hotline at 800-603-9681 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, and Saturday between 8 a.m. and 12 noon. Claimants can also view the newly updated PUA Claimant Guide for information on the weekly filing process and access other resources at detr.nv.gov/pua.

“With Nevada’s staggering and unprecedented unemployment rate, it’s no surprise the demand for PUA is high. We know there have been challenges reaching a live agent or frustrations when agents didn’t have all of the answers. We are working with our vendor to address the demand by hiring and training as quickly as possible. Given the current call volume, claimants may experience a long wait or difficulty getting through, so we encourage claimants to check the status of their claim online,” said DETR director, Heather Korbulic.

“This new system was launched in a short period of time, while DETR staff was already paying out a significant increase in the number of traditional UI claims. We remain steadfast in our commitment to improving the system and the overall experience of claimants. At the end of the day, our goal is to help as many Nevadans as possible obtain the assistance they are eligible for," Korbulic.

As of this morning June 3, 2020, 90,756 initial PUA claims have been successfully filed and 716,964 weeks in claims have been successfully filed with DETR paying out nearly $119 million in combined PUA and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) assistance representing 18,445 claims. DETR continues to remove barriers, process, and release funds on PUA claims daily, in the order in which they were received. DETR works closely with law enforcement to identify, track, and prevent payment on a significant number of fraudulent claims.

Individuals who received a W2 from an employer for 2019, should go to ui.nv.gov and select “File a UI Claim” to determine if there is traditional UI benefit eligibility. Any person who may have UI eligibility, must file for traditional UI benefits before filing for PUA. If you are not eligible for a traditional UI claim, then you may be eligible for a PUA claim.

To file for a PUA claim, you must have exhausted any and all other types of UI, including Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and State Extended Benefits (SEB). If you have difficulties logging in, we encourage you to use the “Forgot Username/Password” functions. To start the process, please visit the website to apply: www.employnv.gov.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2020

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