During a Friday morning news briefing, Heather Korbulic, director of the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, and Nevada Chief Economist David Schmidt addressed common issues among claimants.
The question-and-answer session has been edited for length and clarity.
What do I do if I get an instant busy signal when I call the unemployment insurance call center?
Korbulic: Earlier this week, we were made aware that people with some specific mobile carriers have been getting an instant busy signal when they call our UI call center, even though there are lines available. We have been in touch with the mobile carriers, and they have been extremely helpful and are working toward a speedy resolution. … If you’re getting a fast busy signal with your mobile carrier, (we suggest) that you potentially borrow someone else’s phone with a different carrier.
My claim hasn’t been approved yet. What steps should I take?
Korbulic: That’s up to you. You can and should try to get in touch with us. … We are aware of every claim that is in holding and we are working on each one of those. … We will be getting to your claim.
Schmidt: If you are eligible, continue to put in those weekly claims so that if any issue on the claim is resolved, all of those back weeks can be released at the same time.
What if my claims was approved, but I still haven’t seen any benefits?
Korbulic: State and federal law requires the department to adjudicate, and manually adjudicate, each of those (claims). We are working on trying to find expedited, automated ways to release those benefits and adjudicate on the back end. But the remaining claims that are in this pending adjudication queue are very complex, and there aren’t straightforward technological or policies things we can do to immediately release those benefits.
We’re working on this actively to try to find solutions, but we’re also staffing up our call center and our claims adjudicators in order to try to address this as immediately as possible.
What do I do if I have issues setting up backdated claims?
Schmidt: Backdating claims is definitely a complex endeavor because there’s a lot of different moving parts, including the fact that, dating back to March 15, there’s been a quarter change, and quarter changes affect people’s eligibility, the wages that are used on their claim.
During the weekly filing update, individuals need to be cautious when doing this back to March if they have had inconsistent employment because there’s definitely the possibility of becoming ineligible when they do that.
For other people, the only way to get a backdate at this point in time is a manual process. Due to the activity in the call center, anything that’s a manual process has the potential to be significantly delayed.
Korbulic: We have not opened up the functionality for PUA claims.
How is DETR managing fraudulent claims?
Korbulic: Part of what we’re intending to staff up is in our fraud unit. I will tell you our fraud unit is working overtime themselves on addressing and identifying fraud with both the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance system and the unemployment insurance system.