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Senator Masto helping with unemployment problems facing unemployed Americans

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, Nevada

Dear Fellow Nevadan,

I’ve heard from many Nevadans who are self-employed—including gig economy workers, independent contractors, and people with part-time jobs—who have been financially affected by the coronavirus pandemic. As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, I voted for funding to provide workers like you with unemployment insurance during this difficult time.

The CARES Act established a temporary program called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that temporarily expands unemployment insurance to cover individuals who are not traditionally covered, including the self-employed, gig workers, independent contractors, and workers with irregular work history. Just as importantly, it expands the circumstances under which you can apply for unemployment to cover many situations related to the coronavirus pandemic.

If you’re one of these workers, I want you to know that the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) is starting to make this assistance available on Saturday, May 16. I want you to be aware of the support that may be available to you.

To apply for these funds, you will need to fill out the online PUA application at www.employnv.gov. You may also call the Nevada PUA call center at 800-603-9681. You will want to have on hand documents that show your 2019 income, including things like tax returns, W-2 or 1099 forms, pay stubs, and bank statements. For additional information on the PUA program visit the DETR website here.

In addition to Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, the CARES Act provides funds to extend unemployment insurance for workers in more traditional industries who have lost work due to the coronavirus pandemic and whose unemployment benefits have expired or been exhausted. DETR has recently announced that an additional 13 weeks of this Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) is now available to Nevadans. If you are potentially eligible for PEUC, DETR will notify you by mail, and you will then need to log in to the unemployment insurance claim filing system and follow the steps outlined here.

I know many of you—or your friends and family—have waited in long telephone queues or struggled to get the necessary guidance to access this critical lifeline. I understand how stressful and frustrating this time has been. I’m continuing to work with Governor Sisolak to ensure Nevada has the support it needs to get these funds to every qualified Nevadan who needs assistance. It will take time for DETR to process applications for these funds, which I understand adds to uncertainty for Nevadans and their families. To help those in Nevada affected by the pandemic cope with its impact, I’ve put together a COVID-19 Disaster Resource Guide with helpful information for anyone struggling to pay bills or get critical information about support available.

Together, we’ve stayed home for Nevada. And together, we will get back on our feet and get Nevada safely back to work. I’m doing all I can in the Senate to make sure every Nevada family gets the hand up they need to recover. My office is regularly updating my COVID-19 Disaster Resource Guide and sharing new information on my website—so make sure to visit www.cortezmasto.senate.gov. If you have any questions or need help navigating a federal agency, you can also reach out to my office through my website or by calling one of my offices in Nevada or Washington, D.C. I am here to help.

Sincerely,

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nevada

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