Stick around long enough and history seems to repeat itself.
Back in the time Dan Walker was Governor, there was a pretty bad recession.
As those who have dealt with state government know, it often does not work without the intervention of a state legislator.
That is not the way things ought to be, but this is Illinois, the fix it state.
I had thirty-four case files on my desk of people who could not get unemployment checks.
I finally called the department director and suggested she just mail out the checks without going through all the verification.
Low and behold, that’s what she decided to do.
Now comes, State Rep Allen Skillicorn with this press release:
Fix the Unemployment Fiasco Now Governor
Crystal Lake, IL – State Representative Allen Skillicorn is calling on Governor Pritzker to focus on fixing the unemployment fiasco.
Skillicorn said, “Instead of wasting time sniping at President Trump for every little issue, Pritzker should be focused on the unemployment fiasco in Illinois.
“My office is being inundated with Illinoisans suffering due to the job losses caused by the way Governor has chosen to address this virus. Here just a few of their stories:”
Hello Representative Skillicorn, can you clarify what is happening for Illinois and Unemployment Benefits/Covid-19 relief for Self-employed workers. I applied for unemployment and was given a number. I received the IDES debit card, but there is zero balance on it. Does this mean I’ve been approved for unemployment? When will funds be deposited. When I go to the state website, it says that the program for self-employed workers is not in effect yet. Why not? When will this happen? This shut down affects us freelancers greatly as companies are cutting back and even laying their own staff off. It’s very hard to get work. Company leaders are telling me to check back in the future. We consultants need relief now. Please clarify when the funds will be made available in Illinois. Best regards, Marie
Good morning, Following up to our call yesterday – you mentioned someone was going to call me [from IDES] – I have not received a call. It’s been over 3 weeks since I received a compensation – I am unable to sleep due to the stress this is causing – Requesting your help to resolve. Thanks, John
Still nothing, this is getting very frustrating. “error 500: org.springframework.web.util.nestedservletexception: request processing failed” – Bonnie
We are a small self owned company we have been told not to call but wait until they figure it out. We have zero money coming in since the start of this crisis. David
And the one story that perfectly sums up this disaster:
From Kent relates a Catch-22:
Dear Representative Skillicorn,
There are many of us who need to contact the Illinois Dept. of Employment Security but cannot reach a live person no matter when a call is placed. I’ve been trying since April 2nd. Each attempt has taken just over 5 minutes to listen to the recorded messages and make selections, only to be told there are too many callers before the call is disconnected. As of today, April 5th, the recorded message has been shortened significantly but I’m no longer given the opportunity to contact anyone – the call is immediately disconnected.
I’m past the application stage and received an email from IDES on April 1st asking me to certify but I cannot certify using the web site or by phone. I received my UI Finding on April 8th telling me to certify on March 31st.
To certify by phone, you need a PIN. To get a PIN, you have to call IDES but can never get through. I am able to log into the website but the IDES records are out of date. It wants me to certify for dates from the last time I was on unemployment. Hence the need to speak to someone in IDES to clear this up so I can certify on-line and be paid.
The only other way to reach IDES is via a Web contact form. That does not produce results either. There’s no information on the IDES web site or their Facebook page to indicate what’s going on – just many others noting they have the same issue in contacting IDES.
Is there anything you or someone in your office can do to help me and others who are in a similar situation with the IDES?
I won’t get paid until I certify and I cannot do so until I get the attention of someone in IDES. At a minimum, I’m looking for improved communication from IDES on their current situation and what they are doing to improve the situation. I understand they are in a difficult position but it always help to have transparency from government offices. I’m concerned that my application will eventually be denied because I have not certified my search for employment and I will be forced to go through the application process all over again.
Please stay healthy, including your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Working together we can make a difference.
Skillicorn stated, “While you are playing politics on the national stage, the people of Illinois suffer. You are failing them. Focus on fixing this now Governor!”