State Sen. Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) is urging Gov. J.B. Pritzker to act as quickly as possible to get unemployment benefits to self-employed “gig” workers.
Self-employed "gig" workers, according to ADP Research Institute, make up 18 percent of Illinois’ workforce. Under the recently signed federal stimulus law, these gig workers 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 can be submitted.
Sen. Fowler 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.
“These are unprecedented and challenging times for our residents, with many struggling to provide for their families,” said Sen. Fowler. “We must act swiftly to provide access to critical benefits needed to offer relief to our working families.”
A number of other states like New York and Iowa have already provided guidance for gig workers 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.