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Illinois unable to pay unemployment benefits or accept claims because of a computer failure

Problems with the unemployment computer system apparently began Monday.

Problems with a state website spells out headaches for people trying to file for unemployment.

Illinois is temporarily unable to pay unemployment benefits and accept any new unemployment claims or mandatory certifications through its website or mobile site.

“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,” the Illinois Department of Employment Security told the Chicago Sun-Times Wednesday afternoon.

The state estimates payments will be delayed for about 29,000 people.

Technology troubleshooters have been working through the night and will continue to work around the clock to fix a database error causing the problems with the website and the agency’s ability to access claim information, according to an IDES statement.

“At this time, the cause of the malfunction is not fully known,” it said.

Until the matter is resolved, people will need to file unemployment claims or certify their unemployment status via a call center at (800) 244-5631 or by visiting an IDES office, according to the statement.

Problems with the unemployment computer system apparently began Monday.

IDES posted an alert under the “News and Announcements” portion of its website to inform users of the issue:

“The agency is temporarily experiencing system problems. Our system is currently unable to process claims, certifications or access claim information. We are working diligently to resolve the issue. You may contact our call center at 800-244-5631 or visit an office near you for general information.”

Users need to scroll down a bit on the agency’s main webpage to find the information.

Should someone miss the alert and try to file online, they’ll be met with a screen that reads:

“You are attempting to file your claim during a period of maintenance. You may access the application again by going to the IDES website at at a later time. If you have questions while filing your claim, please contact your local office.”

“You may print this screen for proof of your attempt to file.”