Pandemic Unemployment Assistance System to Launch Saturday for Self-Employed and Independent Contractor Claimants

Looking up inside the cupola on top of the Nevada State Capitol - image - Brian Bahouth, Nevada Capitol News.
Looking up inside the cupola on top of the Nevada State Capitol - image - The Sierra Nevada Ally

Nevadans eligible for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program can begin filing online Saturday, May 16, the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) announced today.

The new system will begin to accept PUA claims Saturday, May 16, 2020 at www.employnv.gov. The first payments are expected to be made beginning May 23, 2020.

The new filing system will be independent of the traditional Unemployment Insurance (UI) system and will facilitate a streamlined method for the public to file for PUA benefits. Claimants will have a dedicated call center for all PUA related questions with a new phone number: 1-800-603-9681.

The PUA program is one provision under the federal CARES Act and is designed to offer unemployment benefits to independent contractors and others historically unable to qualify for traditional unemployment insurance benefits.

The following individuals may be eligible for PUA:

• self-employed, 1099 contract workers, and gig workers;
• employees whose wages are not reported for unemployment insurance;
• employees who have not earned enough wages or worked enough hours for standard
unemployment benefits due to COVID-19.

Claimants must also be able and available for work as defined in state law, must have prior earnings in Nevada or a job offer to work in Nevada and must not be eligible for any UI benefits, including regular UI, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, and State Extended Benefits.

DETR contracted with Geographic Solutions (GeoSol) to implement the new claim filing system. “We are excited to partner with GeoSol to provide this critical resource to eligible Nevadans. We know there is a high demand and expect our call center and claims portal to be very busy the first few days,” said DETR director, Heather Korbulic. “The Division and our dedicated staff have been working day and night to stand up this system and we look forward to the relief it will bring to tens of thousands of Nevadans.”

Geographic Solutions specializes in developing and maintaining online software for the workforce development, economic development, education, corrections, human services, and unemployment insurance industries. GeoSol has already successfully implemented similar systems in several other states, including Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Staff will closely monitor the PUA site www.employnv.gov during and post-launch. The phone line will be open for PUA claimants Saturday May 16, 2020 and Sunday May 17, 2020 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. as the system launches and will be monitored by the Alorica call center. After the first weekend, operating hours for the PUA call center will be 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday – Friday and 8 a.m. – noon Saturdays.

The Alorica call center will no longer take general information calls effective 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 14, 2020, as staff prepares for the transition. Questions about standard Unemployment Insurance can be answered by visiting www.ui.nv.gov can be directed to DETR call centers at (702) 486-0350 and (775) 684-0350.

Look for upcoming announcements related to the PUA call center, filing system, and resources on the agency’s website at: https://detr.nv.gov/pua