Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration needs to act as quickly as possible to get unemployment benefits to self-employed “gig” workers, according to State Senator Jason Barickman.
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.
“So many people right now are hurting because they are out of work, whether they are a traditional employee with a W-2 or a so-called ‘gig” employee,” said Barickman. “Everyone who is unemployed needs access to these benefits, and they deserve swift action.”
Weeks ago, Illinois constituents were told the IDES website would be improved, and access would be enhanced. However, based on what he has been hearing from his constituents, delays with the site continue, and frustrations continue to grow.
“The federal government has taken the important step of including gig workers in the CARES Act, our state needs to step up and do its part,” said Barickman.
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.