- 562,486 claims for traditional unemployment benefits filed as of July 4
- All but 21,652 claims filed since March 14
- Karie-Marie Stone and Alexis Crossman among those who have received unemployment benefits
- Cheryl Butler-Adams and Chris Clancy among those who have not received unemployment benefits
Four months after coronavirus pandemic caused a shutdown in Nevada, many Nevadans continue to seek unemployment benefits.
Each day presents another opportunity for frustrated Nevadans to flood DETR (Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation) phone lines in a bid to seek solutions to their unpaid unemployment benefits. As of July 4, there were 562,486 new traditional unemployment benefits claims filed. From those claims, only 21,652 had been filed by the end week of March 14, three days before nonessential businesses and casinos were ordered to close by Gov. Sisolak in a bid to curb further COVID-19 spread.
A look at the claims now, some claimants have received their benefits with others still struggling to collect theirs. Review-Journal spoke to a few;
38-year-old Kate-Marie Stone had gone public on May 7 about the troubles she had getting her unemployment benefits. The next day, she received a call from DETR. She had filed her claim in March and joined the bandwagon of making calls daily to seek why her claim was under review.
The call meant that her payments were released and her family of four would pay bills and get groceries. She had previously stated that her family was able to take care of the bills but ‘groceries got tight’. After her story ran, she got someone to donate groceries for her and they would even go-ahead to help another neighbor.
While praising the DETR agent who called her, she raised concern on her unemployment benefits running out in September.
“What happens then? That’s the question on our minds,” she said.
For Alexis, four months of countless phone calls to two states’ employment bureaus and a dedicated DETR employee were enough for her to receive her benefits.
March 17 saw her filing an interstate claim for the unemployment benefits. After moving to Vegas from Ohio last summer, she was furloughed from her job amid the pandemic. This prompted her to begin the efforts of calling the employment departments in Ohio and Nevada trying to figure out why the wages sent to DETR from Ohio were not received.
She would later learn that Nevada had received the wages but the Nevada wages had not been sent back by Ohio. Eventually, after struggling to pay bills and her car being repossessed, a call from Nadine, a DETR agent, ensured that her benefits were cleared.
She had her $7,200 made available on Monday and went ahead to pay cash to buy a new black Mini.
Cheryl Butler-Adams & Chris Clancy
It’s a different case with these two as compared to Kate-Marie and Alexis. 56-year-old Cheryl is going to court after being caught up on rent. The bone of contention is that she feels that DETR owes her an additional five weeks that were not paid for. She, however, received her benefits in May.
She filed the claim on May 19 asking a review of the decision taken to deny her the additional benefits. A DETR spokeswoman, however, said that the department has not received the petition yet.
She first filed the benefits on Feb 14 but was denied since she was on medical leave. She was later furloughed from her travel agency after the pandemic hit the state.
Chris Clancy, on the other hand, was another daily Pandemic Unemployment Assistance caller. Her phone company then cut the services since he could not pay the bills. In a July 2 email, he writes that ‘I have absolutely no money at all and I (don’t) know what to do.’
There has been no reprieve coming his way since he began filing claims in May. The status of his claim states that he has ‘other program eligibility’ but this hasn’t changed since May 22. He bemoans that there is ‘no progress’ and his claim is ‘not under review.’