More and more of Nevada’s jobless are moving into the final category of unemployment benefits each week as they exhaust available benefits in the first two programs.
For the week ended Feb. 13, that final program, the federally funded State Extended Benefits (SEB) program, saw an increase of 3,572 claims, bringing the total number of claimants to 73,899. SEB provides up to 20 weeks of benefits.
Meanwhile, the regular UI program was initial claims decrease 26 percent with just 7,378 initial filings and continued regular filings down 2,448 to 77,310.
The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PUEC) program that takes over when individuals exhaust regular benefits saw 59,448 claims filed during the week, a decrease of 2,989 claims compared to the previous week. That program has been able to help more people since the federal government expanded it by adding 11 more weeks for a total of 24 weeks before claimants are left with only SEB benefits.
For those workers not eligible for regular UI benefits, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program serves the self-employed and gig workers. For the week ended Feb. 13, initial filings there declined by 23,028 claims, 65 percent fewer than the previous week. DETR officials say the number of initial claims fluctuates widely from week to week because of the ongoing high rate of fraud in those claims.
There were 99,931 continued PUA claims filed, down 23,026. DETR officials reject a significant number of those initial filings.
The federal government has also expanded the number of weeks people can claim PUA benefits which may explain the increases in continued claims. PUA claimants can now get benefits for through April 10 or a total of 50 weeks, which ever comes first.
Finally, the Continued Assistance Act reinstated the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program providing an extra $300 weekly for both regular and PUA claimants for the weeks beginning Dec. 27 through March 13.