Extra staff speeding progress on unemployment backlog, DETR officials say

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — State officials say 200 new employees are increasing the number of unemployment claims being processed by the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

In an interview Monday, DETR officials talked about progress on the backlog of claims.

With 200 welfare workers now trained to handle unemployment claims, staff are working on claims that are stuck between portals, consolidating the claims in a move that might really speed things up.

“They just finished their first week of actually working on those claims and they got through about 5,000 of them,” DETR Director Elisa Cafferata said.

On Saturday, the Alorica Call Center stopped processing PUA claims. Starting this week, all of those calls will be dealt with back at DETR.

“The difference there is the people who are answering the phone can also handle both PUA and UI questions, and progress for claimants, we think that will really help,” Cafferata said.

A notice will be sent out in the next few weeks for claims that are having issues with identity verification.

This will disqualify fraudulent claims.

For claims that aren’t fraudulent, it opens up an opportunity for people to verify their identity.

“There will be about 9,000 of those going out shortly. That is (for) people that did not follow through with ID me and we believe almost all of those are fraudulant claims, so it is significant progress,” according to Barbara Buckley, leader of the strike force team involved in identifying fraud.

DETR says disqualifying fraudulent claims will speed up the process for real claims.

As far as appeals go, the notification system is being worked on. Notifications should be sent out for those who appealed later this month.

Cafferata said about 25% to 30% of claims are truly appealable.

As for the lost wages benefits, Cafferata says they are testing the system that will disperse the funds. She says they also did apply for the second round of lost wages benefits.

“In the next three weeks people should expect to see this. They don’t need to do anything additional to get the benefit,” Cafferata said.

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