HAWTHORN WOODS – State Sen. Dan McConchie (Hawthorn Woods) is imploring 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.
"Right now, people are struggling to pay their bills and put food on the table for their families. We are living in unprecedented times, and we need to show these 'gig' workers that they help they've been promised is coming. Right now, they don't need delays or distractions – they need answers," said McConchie.
McConchie notes that weeks ago, Illinoisans 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.
"I've heard from many constituents that delays and frustrations with the IDES website continue, but right now, having it function properly is more important than ever," said McConchie. "Several other states already have guidance in place to handle claims for gig workers. Illinois must act fast to do the same."
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.
"The people who are relying on this assistance can't wait until May 11 – they need their unemployment benefits now. Now is the time to act," said McConchie.