The coronavirus pandemic forced a record number of Americans to seek help: 6.6 million people applied for unemployment benefits last week.
This is double the previous week, which in turn set a record.
In Illinois alone, unemployment benefits for the week of March 23 were 178,421.
Thursday morning, the US Department of Labor. USA He published advanced estimates that were not far behind. His estimate was 178,133 applications filed during the week of March 23.
According to the United States Department of Labor, there were 114,663 applications for unemployment benefits in Illinois during the week of March 16, more than ten times more than the week before, when there were 10,870 unemployment benefits in the state.
CBS 2 political researcher Dana Kozlov on Thursday examined the growing frustration of some asking for help.
Many people say they are stuck without money and don’t know what to do if they don’t get help quickly.
“If so many people send at the same time, who will get help?” says Juan Terriquez.
“If I didn’t lose, I’d be completely crazy,” said Cynthia Williamson.
“It’s ugly,” said Matt Nalett.
The people mentioned represent snapshots of despair. There are only three out of hundreds, if not thousands, or even tens of thousands of Illinois people still struggling with unemployment because the Illinois Department of System Security does not allow it.
“Nothing happened on the website: the website was suspended,” said Nalett.
Nalett, an Uber driver, attempted to file a complaint on the IDES website. All you receive are messages saying the website is unavailable and asking users to come back again.
You still have $ 70 left by name.
“If the website fails every day or every time and everything else, what can it do?” Nalett said.
Terriquez is also in serious financial difficulties. He works in a bar on the north side.
He tried to testify, but received the message that he had crossed the unemployment barrier, and now no one can answer an IDES phone to ask why.
“It gives me about three minutes of what is happening with the corona virus, and after various options, they have told me that they are overwhelmed and have hung up,” he said.
Kozlov has repeatedly contacted an IDES representative in the past two days, trying to get answers to what’s not working to correct the system overload and whether the agency plans to hire more people to help resolve the complaints. There was no reply.
Labor attorney Jeremy Glenn has stated under federal incentive law that this is an option.
“How to Hire Temporary Workers; Increase Call Center Staffing,” Glenn said.
But it’s not just the people who try to apply for unemployment who always bump into the wall – people like Williamson we spoke to two weeks ago and who have been approved for unemployment benefits.
But you still haven’t seen any money on your IDES debit card.
“There is nothing there,” said Williamson. “Quantity zero”.
Terriquez said his father was in the same situation, approved a month ago. You have not received any money yet.
“We need help faster than they tell us,” he said.
Governor JB Pritzker replied, “Trust me, we try to answer every call, which is difficult.”
We recently received feedback from the government IT department. After an initial raise, they claimed to have integrated a system update into the computer system to try to cope.
A representative for the governor also said that Pritzker’s office was working to increase staff to improve processing times and complaint services, and they continued to ask for patience.
– Source: Dana Kozlov – CBS Chicago