By Michelle Rindels – June 22nd, 2020
Plaintiffs in an amended lawsuit want a court to order the state to pay unemployment benefits to claimants even when it’s not clear whether they should be getting the funds from the standard, state program or a federally funded Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program for independent workers.
The petition for a writ of mandamus, filed Monday in Second Judicial District Court in Washoe County, argues that the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation is misinterpreting Department of Labor guidance from April on who should be eligible for the PUA program and unnecessarily delaying payment for people desperate for money. It comes after DETR officials said many claimants are ineligible for PUA because they are eligible for standard benefits.
“DETR’s error has cost approximately 60,000 formerly self-employed claimants about half a billion dollars to date,” says the motion, “forcing many into abject poverty and causing irreparable harm like repossessions of cars, inability to pay mortgages, threats of eviction, lowering of property values, decreases in consumer credit scores, draining other government resources, exhausting social safety net programs, and potentially increasing crimes and civil unrest.”