Residents cite issues with DETR system after receiving letters to pay back thousands

Residents cite issues with DETR system after receiving letters to pay back thousands

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation (DETR) announced it is undergoing a four-year modernization of its system.

It comes after the agency had issues processing unemployment claims at a time when the state had the worst unemployment rate.

Two people reached out to 8 News Now and said they had received letters from DETR that stated that they would have to pay back thousands of dollars to the state.

They told 8 News Now they are now having a hard time getting someone from DETR on the phone to discuss their case.

Joel Perlman is one of two people who showed 8 News Now documents from DETR claiming he owes the State of Nevada nearly $30,000. IN the letter DETR stated that he wasn’t eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which he received last year.

Perlman said the Pandemic forced him out of work and he didn’t even get that amount from the state.

“I got health issues of my own, so I got a lot of issues going on and this is tremendous stress,” Perlman added.

Another woman who did not want to be identified said she received a letter claiming she owed $5,700 and said she didn’t get that amount in benefits and can’t get anyone on the phone to discuss her case.

“Number one, it’s Christmas time. What a way to hit somebody. And then number two, I was working during the pandemic,” she said. “I’ve been calling all day, I work from home. So I literally been pressing my button all day long. Nothing. They tell you to press three. then they put you on hold, and then they hang up.”

At one point during the pandemic, Nevada had the highest unemployment rate in the nation at 28%.

Unemployed Nevadans filing for benefits overwhelmed DETR, which led to several issues, including fraud claims and a delay in payments.

The State of Nevada said it is investigating 72 million dollars to modernize the system, which will take about four years.

8 News Now reached out to DETR and requested to speak to someone about some of the viewers’ concerns but are still awaiting a response.

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