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A security guard at the Fremont hotel and casino stands beside the front door on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, shortly before it reopened. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Independent)

Nevada has turned in an application for a $300-per-week, federally funded unemployment benefit add-on nearly a month after the program — which comes in absence of an agreement from Congress on whether to extend $600-per-week bonuses — was first announced.

The Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation said Wednesday that it has submitted the application Tuesday to seek about $300 million from the Lost Wages Assistance grant program. If approved, the money would pay claimants who were unemployed for the first three weeks of August.

The submission comes after 44 states have already been approved for the money. President Donald Trump announced the program in early August, and Nevada said last week that it had decided to apply.

If Nevada’s application is approved, eligible beneficiaries include claimants whose unemployment is COVID-related and who are receiving at least $100 a week in benefits through regular unemployment or the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program for gig workers and self-employed people.

DETR officials say they will “immediately begin working on the necessary technology changes to the current system to accommodate the new program” if the agency gets the green light from the federal government. States must reapply each week after the three weeks of initial benefits dry up, to divvy any remainder of the $44 billion allocation.

Nevada also announced it is applying for $1.7 million in federal funding to assist with fraud investigations. Officials have said large volumes of fraud have jammed the system for legitimate claimants.

To help with the backlog — which DETR has not publicly quantified — 200 welfare eligibility workers will assist with processing claims starting next week.

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