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Sen. Righter Urges Governor to Act on Unemployment Benefits for Small Business Owners and Self-Proprietors

Mattoon, ILL – State Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) urges Gov. J.B. Pritzker to act on unemployment benefits for small business owners and self-proprietors not typically eligible for unemployment benefits.

Under the recently signed federal stimulus law, small business owners and self-proprietors are now eligible for unemployment benefits, and states must modify their websites in order to review these claims.  Unfortunately, no modification has been made to the Illinois Department of Employment Security’s (IDES) website.  Therefore, no claims are being approved.

“With the passage of the CARES Act, unemployment benefits have been rightfully expanded to provide assistance to the small business owners and self-proprietors who are struggling during this time,” said Sen. Righter. “The governor needs to follow suit with the actions taken by Congress and President Trump and do his part to make these benefits available now.”

Sen. Righter notes that weeks ago, Illinois constituents were told the IDES website would be improved, and access would be enhanced. However, based on what lawmakers are hearing from their constituents, delays with the site continue, and frustrations continue to mount.

“Working families across the state are currently struggling due to a government imposed shutdown, yet they have no way to receive the benefits needed to help provide for their families. Excuses about computer problems don’t help small business owners on the brink of bankruptcy,” said Sen. Righter. “The Pritzker Administration needs to act now to grant access to these critical benefits and provide relief to these hardworking men and women.”

A number of other states like New York and Iowa have already provided guidance for small business owners and self-proprietors on their websites, and Michigan began accepting claims online April 13.  Unfortunately, Illinois lawmakers have been told Illinois’ IDES website will not be able to accept claims until May 11.


“These are men and women who are out of work, not by their own choice, but because their state government decided they will not be allowed to work during this time,” said Sen. Righter. “I urge the Governor to recognize the need for stability for these working families and act immediately to modify the Illinois Department of Employment Security’s website.”





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