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Nevada gig workers unable to file weekly unemployment claims

Updated May 22, 2020 - 8:28 am

After waiting two months Las Vegan David Cherkis was finally able to apply for unemployment insurance benefits.

He hasn’t received any money yet, and is not sure when he’ll receive any at all since he’s unable to file for weekly benefits.

Splashed on the EmployNV website, where jobless gig workers can file for benefits, is a red banner notifying claimants the weekly certification “functionality is not yet accessible and will be made available shortly.”

“It’s so vague,” Cherkis said. “You just don’t know.”

The Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation requires all filers to submit a weekly claim to ensure they are paid, but it’s unclear when gig workers will be able to fulfill that requirement.

“Claimants must still file weekly on Sunday for the previous week to continue to receive benefits,” DETR spokeswoman Rosa Mendez said in a statement. She did not specify when the website would be updated.

“They (DETR) say be patient. Patience isn’t putting bread on the table,” Cherkis said.

Gig workers in at least 27 other states are able to file their weekly claims, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Waiting game

Letitia L’Heureux said she was surprised to learn Nevada’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance filing system was incomplete on Saturday.

“They should’ve come out and disclosed, ‘Hey, on Saturday you’re only going to be able to register and as far as weekly filings, that’s not ready yet,’ instead of saying, ‘We’re ready to go,’” L’Heureux said.

Without income since March, the Las Vegan said she is feeling stressed and is concerned payments will be delayed. DETR announced last week it would begin first payments May 23.

“It’s really hard to be optimistic when friends around you have been waiting eight weeks for their regular benefit,” she said.

Val Tramonte said he called the Alorica call center Thursday afternoon and was told he’d be able to file a weekly claim no later than Monday.

“I’ve never been on unemployment before, so I asked if you file the same day every week and filed weekly,” he said. “Bottom line, she said the goal is that this Saturday they’re going to issue some more information. I’m not saying it’s going to be Saturday (but) if they get checks out in the next week or two, it’ll probably pacify the people that have been waiting so long.”

Contact Subrina Hudson at shudson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0340. Follow @SubrinaH on Twitter.

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