Filing for unemployment has proved a headache for some - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Filing for unemployment has proved a headache for some

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DETER's website clarifies the issue related to an upgrade of its online system. DETER's website clarifies the issue related to an upgrade of its online system.

Peg Hospers has been dialing for days. She's been trying to get through to file her unemployment claim with the Nevada Department of Unemployment Training and Rehabilitation.

"When they're working on upgrading they told us we might experience minor delays," Hospers said.

By Thursday afternoon, she still kept hearing the busy signal. Hospers has kept a phone log that monitors a call every time she places a call. She said she's dialed at least a hundred times. 

For her, what's most frustrating is that she's never had to depend on unemployment to survive. "I'm 52, and this is the first time I've ever depended on unemployment."

The hold-up is because of a 30-year-old system overhaul DETR has been working on to improve how unemployment claims are filed in the state. 

Director Frank Woodbeck says the department cut off the old system at the end of August and started the transition to the new one on Tuesday. 

"During that one week people could not file claims ... either new claims or renew existing claims," Woodbeck said.

While the new system is going through, Woodbeck says the department didn't want to change everything all at once for fear of a crash.

This means claimants can't file online, which the department says is another reason for the backlog.

"It's a 30-year-old system we're replacing," Woodbeck said. "I just beg for patience."

However, for Hospers, patience may not be enough as she is always looking for work, and spending these past few days on the phone has set her back in looking for a new job.

"I've lost a day of almost two days of job search other than internet job search because I can't leave my house because I can't file my claim," Hospers said.

Meanwhile, DETR says people should be able to file online by Saturday, which should help the backlog of calls.

Woodbeck says claimants shouldn't be concerned about not receiving a check this week because it will get sent by next week.

The department says they processed 24,000 claims on Wednesday. Every week, they have anywhere from 40,000 to 50,000 claimants.

They have also provided an additional number to call until the system is working online again: 702-486-3387.

The new system cost about $48 million, but was paid for by federal funds.

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