IDES takes steps to address unemployment claims

IDES takes steps to address unemployment claims
Unemployment graphic. (Source: Associated Press)

ILLINOIS (KFVS) - The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced that they are taking additional steps to address the large volume of unemployment benefit claims as a result of COVID-19.

The announcement comes after some reported having trouble trying to file for unemployment.

IDES said their website has been moved to new hardware infrastructure to handle the increased demand.

Web, storage, and processing capacity has been increased to meet needs of increased traffic.

The department has starting using methods to track COVID-19-related claims.

IDES has also increased call center capacity.

Daily call center hours have been extended to respond to those waiting in the queue after closure.

Call center staff has been supplemented by 40 percent to cut down on wait times.

In addition to these measures, IDES is now asking individuals to adhere to an alphabetized schedule when filing an unemployment benefit claim online and over the phone.

This process mirrors other states, such as Colorado and New York, who are experiencing increased web traffic and high call volumes with their unemployment benefit systems.

Online Filing Schedule:

  • Those with last names beginning with letters A-M will be asked to file their claims on Sundays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays.
  • Those with last names beginning with letters N-Z will be asked to file their claims on Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays.
  • Saturdays will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window.

Call Center Filing Schedule:

  • Those with last names beginning with letters A-M will be asked to call on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 7:30am – 6pm.
  • Those with last names beginning with letters N-Z will be asked to call on Mondays and Wednesdays between 7:30am – 6pm.
  • Fridays (7:30am – 6pm) will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window.

The day or time of day in which a claim is filed will not impact whether you receive benefits or your benefit amount.

Claims will be back-dated to reflect the date in which a claimant was laid-off or let go from their job due to COVID-19.

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