LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — People who file for unemployment benefits under Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) will now be required to verify their identity, according to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR).

A Monday news release from Carson City announced the change as part of the continuing effort to eliminate fraudulent claims. System updates will require PUA claimants to take “a few extra steps,” DETR said.

DETR said federal law requires that states verify identity to protect legitimate claimants.

“PUA claimants can verify their identity online through ID.me and should follow directions as noted through an email message and/or link provided through their claimant account. Claimants should not verify identity unless instructed to do so,” according to DETR.

Individuals needing assistance with filing should contact the PUA claim center at 1-800-603-9681, 775-298-6007, or 702-998-3081, Monday through Friday. Callers are encouraged to call Wednesday through Friday after 10 a.m., as Mondays and Tuesdays are the call centers’ busiest days of the week.

“We continue to work on combating unemployment fraud while protecting the state and eligible claimants,” said Lynda Parven, Administrator of the Employment Security Division.

“With high levels of fraudulent claims, we know it can be challenging for claimants to get answers to their questions,” Parven said. “This additional verification process will help to ensure eligible claimants get access to unemployment benefits.”

DETR advised claimants not to share personal data, or even ask for help in filing a claim with outside parties. DETR also singled out social media as a danger zone for sharing any personal information.

To report fraud and abuse on the agency’s unemployment fraud homepage, go to Quick links at www.detr.nv.gov. More information on what to do if you suspect a fraudulent claim has been filed, review DETR’s fraud flyer located on the Bulletin Board at www.detr.nv.gov.

Claimants are reminded to use the internet to file their UI claims, as it is the fastest and most convenient way to file and reserves the phone lines for individuals who are not able or do not have the necessary resources to file online. Online filing during non-peak hours, such as early mornings, at night or weekends is also highly recommended. Claimants are also reminded that to continue to receive benefits, they must file weekly.