Claimant shares struggles with PUA system

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Independent contractor Anthony Pehrson is at his wits end. His Pandemic Unemployment Assistance — or PUA claim — is wrapped up in adjudication due to initial unemployment filings in March. 

“The stress level is at its max. I’m a strong person I’ve been through a lot in my life, but its pretty hard to deal with,” Pehrson said. “Meanwhile, my son’s birthday just passed on the 24th and for the first time in his life and my life as a father I wasn’t able to give him a birthday present.”

Out of the 106,000 claimants eligible for PUA, DETR says more than 78,000 have been paid. 

When asked why some filers are getting paid before initial claimants, Director Heather Korbulic said they go in the order they’re received, and some claims have many issues. 

“We’re not seeing any movement on their cases,” Pehrson said. “We were the people on the first day.”

Now Pehrson and others in similar situations are using “#NVnotpayingPUA,” hoping to gain attention of people that can help. 

“It started being our banner to rally around,” Pehrson said.

Now, Korbulic says DETR is trying to bring on more help.

“We’re working as fast as we possibly can, increasing our staff addressing adjudication needs in a manual way and automated solutions,” Korbulic said.

For Pehrson, he feels that these are empty promises. 

“To be forced into obscure poverty and destitution. It’s like minutes turn into years, and days turn into centuries,”Pehrson concluded.

DETR says about 90% of those eligible for unemployment have been paid so far. 

Following the press conference Friday, Governor Steve Sisolak announced that DETR Director Heather Korbulic will be leaving because of threats to her personal safety. He says he will name a new director in the next week.

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