Southern Illinois Republicans Call for Reforms to Fix State Unemployment Filing System Failures

MARION – Three Southern Illinois Republican State Representatives are calling for Governor JB Pritzker to take immediate action to remedy issues plaguing the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). Web site and telephone hotline failures have caused thousands of Illinoisans to be unable to file for unemployment benefits.

“My offices have been overwhelmed with phone calls from constituents that are not able to file online or to even speak with someone on the phone,” Bryant said. “I have been supportive of the governor’s stay at home orders and guidelines for social distancing. I still am. But, re-assigning staff and seeking private sector technical assistance would certainly go a long way to ease the backlog and get unemployed people the benefits they need.”

Rep. Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis) says his office is receiving similar complaints.

“Governor Pritzker said IDES will not be able to process unemployment claims for self-employed workers until the middle of May,” Windhorst said. I call on the governor to redeploy state workers and seek help from the private sector and the federal government to help reduce the delays applicants are experiencing.”

State Rep. Dave Severin (R-Benton) encouraged the governor to act on good advice when he gets it from legislators or outside sources.

“We’ve seen the governor make a lot of decisions that have impacted every single Illinoisan. Now we are asking him to make decisions to help those people that have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus emergency,” Severin said. “Where other states have used the federal government’s IT resources, Illinois has not. Where other states have relied on the private sector’s technical expertise, Illinois up until now has not. The question is, why? The governor can take further actions to fix the backlog at IDES. Unemployed people in Illinois have bills that are due and families to feed. The time to fix the problems at IDES is now.”

Illinoisans are reminded that because all IDES offices are currently closed, applying for benefits is only available online and over the phone. Interested persons can find all available information on how and when to file for unemployment by visiting or by calling: