630% rise in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims called questionable

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program that covers the self-employed and gig workers saw 61,290 initial claims during the week ending Dec. 5.

That is an increase of more than 630 percent from the previous week’s total of 8,345 new claims.

Officials at the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation said that increase is highly questionable and they will be investigating to figure out what caused the spike. PUA has been the subject of repeated claims people are gaming the system and filing for benefits they’re not entitled to.

Officials reported 78,977 continuing claims for benefits in the PUA program

DETR also announced that 167,000 people will be notified this week that they are ineligible for PUA benefits. In all cases, the claimant either failed to follow through with an ID request for information or the claim was flagged for questionable identity.

Those who think they were wrongly denied benefits can appeal and provide DETR with more information.

Both initial and continuing claims for unemployment benefits increased during the week ending Dec. 5.

A spokesman said that is only the second increase in initial claims since October and the first increase in continuing claims in 16 weeks.

Initial claims rose 36 percent to 8,783. Continuing claims rose just 1.6 percent to 85,680.

The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program that provides benefits to those who have exhausted regular benefits saw an increase of 2,318 to 98,178 and the State Extended Benefit program that covers those who have exhausted the PUEC as well as regular benefits increased by 1,942 during the week.

DETR is also rolling out upgrades to its website, ui.nv.gov/css.html

The changes are intended to make the site easier to use.


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