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Unemployment official: ‘Everyone should try’

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(AP Photo/John Locher)

People wait in line for help with unemployment benefits at the One-Stop Career Center, Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Las Vegas. Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation and its partner organizations, like the One-Stop Career Center, have seen an increase in traffic due to the coronavirus.

What should the thousands of workers, who are being laid off due to the COVID-19 crisis, do? Are they eligible for unemployment benefits? They might be, says Rosa Mendez, spokeswoman for the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, or DETR.

“They can file,” Mendez says. “Every application is handled on a case-by-case basis.”

This is especially true since President Donald Trump and Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak have both declared states of emergency and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act is working its way quickly through Congress. That bill would, among other things, enhance qualifying states’ unemployment insurance programs and loosen applicant’s restrictions to qualify for it.

On March 13, DETR issued a statement with the following recommendations for claimants.

  • File online here: http://ui.nv.gov/css.html. If you encounter technical problems, e-mail internethelp@detr.nv.gov or call 775-684-0427.
  • For general questions, see the FAQ here: http://ui.nv.gov/PDFS/FAQENG.pdf.
  • If you don’t have access to a computer, call 702-486-0350 for the Las Vegas metro area, 775-684-0427 for the Reno metro area, and 888-890-8211 for rural areas, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Pacific Time, Monday through Friday. Help is available in English and Spanish, and callers can get translators for other languages as needed.
  • To check the status of a claim, use the “Contact us” link on the website.

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Mendez also encouraged those who’ve suddenly found themselves out of work to visit the JobConnect website at https://nevadajobconnect.com/. That’s the state’s workforce development program, kind of like the government’s version of Indeed. It has 10 offices around the state, including self-service centers with computers, phones, and job postings, and offers everything from career counseling and resume-writing tips, to job referrals and training (see update on temporary closure below).

On March 16, DETR expanded staffing to handle an expected spike in unemployment insurance claims, according to a news release.

 “We are actively preparing our system and staffing levels so we can meet the recent increased UI demand,” DETR Director Tiffany Tyler-Garner said, in the release. “We will continue to monitor, evaluate and revise our systems and staffing as the need arises.”

 

Update, March 16, 2020: The Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation has posted a video tutorial to help newcomers set up an account. View it here.

 

Update, March 19, 2020: In accordance with state and federal safety recommendations, the Employment Security Division has closed Nevada's JobConnect and Workforce Connections Career Centers until further notice. The department encouraged applicants to use the resources available on their website

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