Illinois residents unable to file, certify unemployment benefits due to computer failure

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CHICAGO — People in Illinois have been unable to file or certify their unemployment benefits due to a computer failure.

Unemployed workers in Illinois must file claims every two weeks. The Illinois Department of Employment Security said they noticed the database error issue Tuesday, but some people said they were having issues earlier.

“The department expects that the issue will be resolved by the end of the week and that most recipients of unemployment benefits will receive their payments by Friday. Staff worked through the night on a solution and will continue to work all hours until the issue is fully fixed,” IDES said in a statement.

The department said it noticed the issue Tuesday, but Danyarose Monroe said the problem started Monday.

“I was trying to certify on my call-in day which was Monday and I tried to call through my cellphone couldn’t get through so I tried a landline and still couldn’t get through, when I would hit the options it would say it was a maintenance issue. So I’m like maintenance issue on a certification day?” Monroe said.

Monroe, who is raising a 16-year-old daughter, said while she looks for work, the state has been sending her $800 every two weeks. Without that money, she doesn’t know what she’s going to do.

“I needed that money to pay on my car note which now I can’t pay my car note and I use that to try to do deliveries to try and make ends meet while I’m looking for a job at the moment. I kind of count on that to be something that’s coming in. I know we pay unemployment insurance so where is that money? What’s going on?” she said.

A spokesman for IDES said the glitch is not a cyber security problem and the state hopes to have this resolved by Friday.

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