PUA claimants concerned about DETR work search requirements

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) announcement about work search requirements has left a lot of unemployment claimants worried. This came about over the weekend.

Those worried are Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claimants, also known as the gig workers. After the pandemic started, they were allowed to file for unemployment.

Now, they don’t know exactly how they are going to prove work searches.

“I am a tribute artist for Joan Rivers,” shared claimant and entertainer Barbara Brighton. “I have to be called to do what I do. I do not go out and look for jobs.”

Come May 2, all unemployment claimants, including PUA, have to prove work searches. PUA claimants are independent contractors or gig workers, so many are left confused about how to do this moving forward.

“Tribute artists, entertainers, musicians, basically, they can’t go out and get the jobs; they have to be called to fill those jobs,” Brighton explained.

PUA was created after the pandemic started, and for the first time ever, gig workers and independent contractors were able to file for unemployment. Up until next month, the work search portion has been waived.

“What most people may see in their portals, starting in May, is them being required, and perhaps not able to move on with their claim if they do not put in some type of information,” said Amber Hansen, administrator of a popular PUA Facebook group.

Work search for claimants who were regular W-2 employees is not new.

Hansen says many PUA claimants’ situations are different.

“Some of the stipulations and requirements for work search really don’t fit in at all with the PUA side,” she explained. “What was troubling for me and what I tell my claimants all the time, is that this could change at any moment.”

DETR told 8 News Now Monday more information would come out soon, regarding work search requirements, but they did not say when.

“The harder the problem is, we have to get better at communications,” said Hansen. “We have to.”

DETR said that May 2 is the week that work search will need to be provided.

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