MARYVILLE – To learn about the status of several unemployment insurance issues plaguing the Illinois Department of Employment Security, State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) will attend a subject matter hearing in the Senate Labor Committee on Wednesday. The unprecedented flood of claims in the last year, when more than 1 million Illinoisans lost their jobs, overwhelmed the department.

“Almost a year after the pandemic began, our state’s unemployment benefits system is working through challenge after challenge, and meanwhile, residents are growing more desperate every day,” Crowe said. “Unemployed residents deserve solid answers regarding what is being done to fix our broken benefits system. IDES must provide the public with updates on how the department is addressing the complaints claimants have posed.”

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The public and lawmakers continue to express concerns about claimants being able to reach and receive assistance from the agency with their unemployment claims, as well as to get their payments. Illinois is also one of many states dealing with a wave of fraudulent claims, and the agency is seeking to implement tougher security measures to ensure benefits are only paid to verified recipients.

Since the pandemic began, Crowe has heard from Metro East residents about specific and ongoing issues. This hearing will give members serving on the Labor Committee an opportunity to ask for details from IDES officials.

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This is part one of a two-part series of hearings on unemployment insurance issues since the pandemic began.

WHAT: Senate Labor Committee

WHO: Senator Rachelle Crowe, Labor Committee members and representatives of IDES

WHEN: Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 10 a.m.

WHERE: To view virtual committee proceedings, visit and click "Watch Live Virtual Committee Video." The link will become available when proceedings begin. Blue Room Stream, a subscription-based service, will also stream the hearing.

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