Senator Jim Oberweis is calling on Governor J.B. Pritzker to prioritize changes needed to provide unemployment benefits for self-employed or “gig” workers instead of making them wait another month.
Self-employed or “gig” workers make up 18 percent of Illinois’ workforce, according to ADP Research Institute. 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.
Illinois lawmakers have been told the IDES website will not be able to accept these claims until May 11.
“Our Governor’s stay-at-home order effectively shut down self-employed workers about a month ago, leaving many wondering if they will be able to make ends meet,” said Senator Oberweis. “And now, even with assistance available from the federal government, they are being told it could be another month. This is not acceptable.”
Senator Oberweis 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.
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.
“If other states have their systems in place, why can’t Illinois?” Senator Oberweis asked.