IDES Has Processed 1 Million Unemployment Claims Since March 1, Given $2 Billion In Benefits

By Benjamin Cox on May 8, 2020 at 8:33am

The U.S. Department of Labor announced that 3.2 million Americans sought unemployment benefits last week. The new applications brought the total number of jobless claims since mid-March to 33.3 million. The Department of Labor estimates 74,476 new unemployment claims were filed during the week of April 27th in Illinois down from 81,245 claims the week prior.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security today released new statewide data showing the department processed 74,476 new initial unemployment claims for the week ending May 2nd. Governor Pritzker outlined some of the numbers during his COVID-19 press conference yesterday: “That’s over 1 million claims in just the first nine weeks of this crisis. Compare that to the first nine weeks of the Great Recession of 2008, when there were 180,000 claims in Illinois. This historic number of claims has also lead to historic levels of benefits being paid out in the first four months of 2020, Illinois has paid out over $2 billion in claims. That’s $500 million more than what was paid out in all 12 months of 2019.”

This is nearly 12 times the number of claims the department processed over the same period last year and more than all the unemployment claims filed last year. There were revisions to numbers to account for the number of successfully processed claims after issues were fixed on some applications this past week.

IDES is expected to experience a swift increase next week when the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program goes online on Monday for gig economy and self-employed workers will be able to successfully file claims. IDES is contracting with Deloitte to implement and maintain the web-based PUA program which was designed in 4 weeks time. Pritzker said during his Q&A session with the Illinois press that 200 Illinois workers will man the call center to begin accepting the 1099 claimants on Monday.