Why some people are having to wait longer for unemployment checks

 
By Jerry Nowicki
Capitol News Illinois
jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com

SPRINGFIELD -- State officials are working to fix a "database error" that rendered the Illinois Department of Employment Security website unable to process unemployment claims or mandatory certifications online Tuesday or Wednesday.

A statement from department spokesman Sam Salustro said unemployment checks cannot be released until the system is up and running again, and the department anticipates that to be "by the end of the week."

"Most recipients of unemployment benefits will receive their payments by Friday," he said in a statement. "Staff worked through the night on a solution and will continue to work all hours until the issue is fully fixed."

Salustro said the online Illinois Benefit Information System was down since late Monday, but those who filed their unemployment claims online before the outage should receive their checks Friday once the system is returned to working order. Those who filed claims in person or via the department's call center after the Monday outage should receive checks Friday as well, he added.

While Salustro said the database error was not caused by a cybersecurity breach, the exact cause of the malfunction "is not fully known."

Claims can still be made by calling or visiting an unemployment office while the system is down. Claimants can find their nearest office by visiting www.ides.illinois.gov/Pages/Office_Locator.aspx. The call center can be reached at (800) 244-5631.

The only mention of the outage on the IDES website came in a brief statement published Tuesday, which remained there Wednesday: "The agency is temporarily experiencing system problems. Our system is currently unable to process claims, certifications or access claim information. We are working diligently to resolve the issue. You may contact our call center at 800-244-5631 or visit an office near you for general information."

Salustro said the staff was looking into a notification process should claimants not receive their checks as scheduled Friday.

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