Representative Darren Bailey says he spoke with Illinois Department of Employment Security officials through a conference call recently and is offering some advice to folks who may still be having trouble with the system.
Specifically, he says there have been a lot of questions from individual contractors and concerns that they weren’t able to qualify for regular unemployment. He says, “Under the new federal unemployment programs there’s a PUA (Personal Unemployment Assistance) and under that is where the individual contractors would qualify. There are 39 weeks available. The state of Illinois is telling us they won’t be able to take applications for this probably until the middle of May. But, they are also saying you need to have applied and been denied for regular unemployment. So hang on to that. You’ll need that and your tax return. It’s been frustrating, but it’s coming.”
Bailey says he learned in the conference call that there are currently 539 IDES employees for the state and it takes 9 months to train. Additionally, the organization has brought in some retired employees and they’re currently working 12 hour shifts. True to form however, Bailey wasn’t able to avoid sneaking in a jab saying, “I found it interesting they were already beginning to ramp up their workforce because they acknowledged there was a recession coming in the third quarter this year. I found that intriguing because our economy has been booming and I’m not quite sure how that was established.”
He finished up his remarks encouraging those who’ve had trouble getting through to keep trying and said authorities said to expect it to take 2 to 3 weeks before furloughed workers would see their first check and says there are many people in the district that have been waiting longer than that. Claims will be back dated to the date that individuals were let go, Bailey says he was assured and called it encouraging.