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State tries to keep up with unemployment claims

More than 116,000 first-time claims have been filed since the pandemic hit Nebraska
Posted at 7:06 PM, May 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-14 20:08:05-04

LINCOLN, Neb. — About one and five unemployment claims filed since March have yet to be processed, Gov. Pete Ricketts said at his Thursday COVID-19 press conference.

State officials reported the same figure last week.

"We have received three years worth of claims in about two months," Ricketts said.

Steps have been taken to reduce the amount of time required to process claims, Ricketts said. The staff has expanded from 33 people to 166. Ricketts signed an executive order to allow the Nebraska Department of Labor to only contact the most recent employer, rather than all previous employers.

About $335 million has been distributed in unemployment benefits since March 1, Nebraska Labor Commissioner John Albin said. Of that, $222 million of the additional $600 per week have been distributed, about $100 million has been distributed in regular benefits, and $12.4 million has been distributed in the pandemic unemployment assistance program for people who are self employed.

One individual who reached out to 3 News Now Investigators about his unemployment claim said it was more than a month before he received any communication from the NDOL.

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