The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak is making everything harder, including navigating the system for receiving unemployment insurance benefits from the government. That process can be overwhelming and frustrating at the best of times, and now record numbers of Americans are trying to get it done at once. To make it easier to find your way to the money you're eligible for, here are some quick links and resources.
If you are an employer, visit the Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation's employers' hub for more information on how employees claiming unemployment affect your business.
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How to claim unemployment
Nevada offers a YouTube playlist explaining how to apply for unemployment benefits, with guidelines on the documents you need, what to expect as you file your claim, and how to proceed with unemployment benefits going forward. Because of the pandemic, this includes W-2 workers and the self-employed, freelancers, gig workers, and 1099-independent contractors, as well as those who qualify for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
You can also visit an online FAQ on COVID-specific questions for both claimants and employers.
Create an account if you don't have one to begin the application process; otherwise, sign in to your existing UInv account. Onscreen instructions will walk you through it all. You may experience delays applying for unemployment because of volume, but keep at it.
If you need to speak to someone or file over the phone, call the number most appropriate to your location:
- Northern Nevada: (775) 684-0350
- Southern Nevada: (702) 486-0350
- Rural areas and out-of-state callers: (888) 890-8211
In addition to unemployment payments from the state, the federal government will distribute $600 alongside each disbursal through July 25, 2020. Benefits can last for 26 weeks; an additional 13 weeks of benefits are available through the federal CARES Act. Learn more at Nevada's CARES Act FAQ.
Who is eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
Those who don't qualify for regular unemployment benefits can still get PUA if they are diagnosed with, experiencing symptoms of, or affected directly by COVID-19, including:
- A member of the individual's household has been diagnosed with COVID-19
- The individual is providing care for a family member or member of the household who has been diagnosed with COVID-19
- A child or other person in the household for which the individual has primary caregiving responsibility is unable to attend school or another facility is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 emergency, and the school or care is required for the individual to work
- The individual is unable to reach the place of employment because of a COVID-19 quarantine or because a healthcare professional has advised him or her to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns
- The individual was scheduled to commence employment and does not have a job or is unable to reach the job as a direct result of COVID-19
- The individual has become the breadwinner or major support for a household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of COVID-19
- The individual has quit his/her job or was laid off as a direct result of COVID-19
- The individual's place of employment is closed as a direct result of COVID-19
According to the DETR, Nevada will begin offering PUA intake in mid-May 2020.