Louisville, IL. – State Rep. Darren Bailey issued the following statement regarding problems plaguing Illinois’ Unemployment benefits system:
“Illinois taxpayers deserve answers about why the Illinois Department of Employment Security has failed in its mission to provide financial assistance to the unemployed. Adding insult to injury, there is also the concern about identity theft associated with unemployment claims, as highlighted by recent Illinois media reports.
What are the problems holding up financial assistance? How can the state’s online unemployment assistance application process be improved? How many unemployed Illinoisans had their identity stolen? How much money (taxpayer dollars) has been stolen? What procedures can be implemented to improve and protect the system?
These and other concerns could be answered with a detailed audit of the Illinois Department of Employment Security. Isn’t it just common sense we ask the Auditor General – who is tasked with being the state’s watchdog of taxpayer dollars – to investigate on our behalf?
A previous call for an audit of the agency dealt with the leak of personal information. Today, the situation continues to worsen.
There are still thousands of citizens who have yet to receive help, while some have given up trying because of the delays.
We need a full accounting and the best way to do that is for the Auditor General to conduct a priority audit of IDES.
Granted, the COVID-19 pandemic presented the state with an unprecedented challenge, but today thousands of out-of-work moms and dads are still waiting for help.
IDES spends millions of dollars each year assisting those who are unemployed, and Illinois employers pay some of the highest state rates for Unemployment Insurance. In 2020, the agency’s efforts have fallen far short of what we expect.
The Pritzker administration is touting a lower unemployment number, which is a positive development, but meanwhile there are many Illinoisans who are not getting the help they need, and we have no idea of the extent of the identity theft involving the Unemployment Insurance/benefit system.”