Unemployment phone lines to be open Saturday - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Unemployment phone lines to be open Saturday

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People line up at a DETR office in this undated image. (File/FOX5) People line up at a DETR office in this undated image. (File/FOX5)

As upgrades to an outdated system continues, the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation said it will keep phone lines open on Saturday.

DETR began upgrading its 30-year-old claims system this week. The agency began with the phone side of the system, but delayed launching the internet side. The delay has caused a backlog of phone calls, frustrating may unemployed trying to file their claims.

Dennis Perea, deputy director of DETR, said the agency has been fielding about 2,000 calls per hour since the new system launched.

With that in mind, Perea said people will be allowed to file their claims via the phone-based system from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. He said the office will not be open on Saturday.

Perea said only people filing initial claims need to talk to a live operator. He said people trying to file weekly claims can use the automated system 24 hours a day. He said those people will have the best luck calling the system either late in the evening or early in the morning.

The agency said Friday it has added two new phone numbers for people to file claims until the new system is up and running.

The number in northern Nevada is 775-684-3387. In southern Nevada, it's 702-486-3387.

Each phone number supports 96 additional lines. Officials said the new numbers mean about 600 people can now file weekly claims at the same time.

DETR Director Frank Woodbeck said the department cut off its old computer system at the end of August and began transitioning to a new one this past Tuesday.

Copyright 2013 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.  The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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