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Nearly 167K jobless claims found ineligible as Nevada fights fraud

Updated December 10, 2020 - 4:35 pm

Tens of thousands of Nevadans will soon be receiving notices that their jobless claims have been found ineligible.

The state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation said Thursday that nearly 167,000 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance ineligibility claim determination notices will be sent out this week. The agency took similar action in October, sending out 217,500 ineligibility letters for PUA filers.

The program, aimed at self-employed workers or independent contractors, provides up to 46 weeks of benefits for eligible filers that are not covered by regular unemployment insurance. Nearly 658,000 initial PUA claims have been filed in Nevada through the week ending Nov. 28.

“DETR has identified a large number of questionable claims,” said agency spokeswoman Rosa Mendez in a statement Thursday. In each case, the filer either did not follow through with an “ID.me“ request for information or the claim was flagged for “questionable identity.”

Officials said the state unemployment system is overwhelmed with fraud as it struggles to clear the backlog on legitimate claims. In late August, the agency piloted a program with identity verification platform ID.me to root out fraudulent applications.

“Where a claimant’s identity cannot be validated, DETR has determined these claims have been found to be ineligible and they won’t be processed further,” Mendez said Thursday.

Individuals affected can appeal the ineligible determination. DETR said it will waive its 11-day deadline for filers to request an appeal “due to the significant number of potential fraud claims.”

Contact Jonathan Ng at jng@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ByJonathanNg on Twitter.

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