The impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt across the US. In Nevada, the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) has reported a huge spike in new unemployment insurance applicants, along with an unprecedented number of inquiries about unemployment benefits and support. “We have many people contacting us due to the situation right now with COVID 19,” Rosa Mendez, public information officer for DETR, tells Reno Gazette. “There’s really high volume and we’re definitely seeing an increase so we just ask people to be as efficient as possible.” If you’re one of the thousands who have lost their job or seen their income reduce as a result of the pandemic, here’s what you need to know about how to file for unemployment in Nevada.
What are the eligibility requirements?
Filing for unemployment isn’t difficult, but you first need to check whether you’re actually entitled to claim. In Nevada, the unemployment eligibility criteria is determined by the following:
- Your previous earnings meet minimum income expectations
- You have lost your job through no fault of your own, as defined by Nevada law
- You are able and available to work
- You are actively seeking employment.
To meet minimum income expectations, you will need to have earned at least $400 during your highest-paid quarter of the base period. The base period is determined as the first four of the last 5 completed quarters immediately preceding the date of your claim. Additionally, your total earnings over the entire base period should be at least 1.5 times your income in the highest-earning quarter, and you must have earned in at least 3 of the 4 quarters.
While the minimum income criteria is still valid, Nevada has made certain changes to the other requirements for UI in response to the crisis. Since the introduction of the CARES Act at the end of March 2020, you are not required to prove that you are able or available to work if any of the following conditions apply:
- You aren’t able to get to your workplace because of a medically ordered quarantine, public transportation closures or because your workplace has been closed
- You or someone in your household has coronavirus, or you are the primary caregiver to someone who either has coronavirus or who has been medically quarantined
- You have to care for a child who’s been affected by school closures
In addition to the relaxation of the work-search requirement, applicants who would not normally be eligible to claim support (the self-employed, freelancers, and gig workers) are now able to claim assistance.
What information will I be asked for?
Applying for UI is relatively straightforward, but be prepared to provide detailed information of your personal circumstances and your employment history. This includes:
- Your legal name, date of birth, address, and a contact telephone number on which you can be reached during business hours
- The names, addresses, telephone numbers, and periods of employment for your last two employers
- Your Social Security number
- An Alien registration number, if you’re not a US citizen
- A DD Form 214, if you’ve been on active military duty at any time in the past 18 months
- A Standard Form 8 and Standard Form 50, if you’ve worked for the federal government within the past 18 months
- Your bank account information if you want to receive your benefits by direct deposit
- Your union hall number if you’re a union member
- Confirmation of any holiday or severance pay you’ve received since leaving your last employer
- Return to work date, if you have been furloughed
How do I file a claim?
Now you’ve checked your eligibility and found all the information needed, you can start your claim.
Due to the high call volumes being received, DETR recommend you file your claim online at the Nevada Unemployment Insurance website. Once you’ve registered an account, you’ll simply need to follow the prompts to complete the application. If you need any assistance, there’s several tutorials on the website to talk you through the process.
If you can’t get online to make your application, you can also file by calling through to a call center between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on one of the following numbers:
- Northern UI Call Center: (775) 684-0350
- Southern UI Call Center: (702) 486-0350
- Rural areas and out-of-state: (888) 890-8211
How long can I claim UI?
Typically, Nevada allows you to claim up to 26 weeks of unemployment in any 52-week period. However, under the conditions of the CARES Act, this has been extended by a further 13 weeks, up to a maximum of 39 weeks.
How much will I get?
When it comes to determining your entitlement, DETR will consider how much you earned over the base period. As Fool.com notes, the amount you’ll receive per week will either be 4% of what you earned in your highest-paid quarter, or $469 – whichever is highest. In addition to the state entitlement, you’ll also be entitled to a $600 ‘top-up’ payment for a total of 4 months, valid until the end of July.
I’ve filed my claim. What’s next?
Once DETR receive your application, they’ll send you a Monetary Determination confirming how much your entitlement to UI will be if your claim is accepted. You should then receive a Notice of Determination within 3 weeks confirming their decision.
If your claim is rejected, you have the right to contest the decision. But be quick – you have only 11 days from the mailing date of the determination to file the appeal. After making your appeal, you’ll receive a “Notice of Hearing” from The Appeals Tribunal confirming the date of your telephone hearing. If, after the hearing is completed, you still disagree with the decision, a further appeal can be made to the Board of Review. Any appeals made after the Board have reviewed your case will need to be made via the District Court.