SPRINGFIELD – After working with Deloitte to investigate a glitch in the system it built for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today notification will begin to go out to claimants whose information may have been unintentionally viewed by a single claimant.
The claimant immediately reported the issue within the PUA system. Computer records confirm that no other individuals viewed claimant information, which could have included names, social security numbers, and street addresses associated with PUA claims. Based on the department’s investigation, it is believed that the claimant unintentionally viewed the information of a handful of other claimants and there is no indication that any personal information was, or will be, improperly used. Out of an abundance of caution, the Department will notify 32,483 claimants whose information could have been possibly viewed to ensure full transparency.
The department confirmed this single data issue within the system over the weekend. Upon learning of the issue, the Department and Deloitte worked in partnership to quickly correct the issue and conduct an investigation and analysis. The results confirmed that only one PUA claimant was able to inadvertently view personal identifying information of a limited number of other PUA claimants. Based on these findings, there is no indication that any personal information was improperly used nor is it likely to happen in the future.
Individuals receiving the notice will have the option to enroll in 12 months of free credit monitoring, a service being offered by Deloitte. A one-year membership of Experian’s IdentityWorks identity protection service is available to these claimants, at no cost. More information, including the pre-paid code for this service, is available in the notice sent to claimants. Additionally, federal law entitles everyone to one free credit report per year from each of the three main credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Those interested in more information about protecting personal information are encouraged to visit the Illinois Attorney General’s website and the Federal Trade Commission’s website.
The Department encourages claimants to continue to file for unemployment benefits through the PUA portal if they are still in need or have not yet done so already. In its first week, the system has processed nearly 75,000 claims. PUA provides 100% federally-funded unemployment benefits for individuals who are unemployed for specified COVID-19-related reasons and are not eligible for the state’s regular unemployment insurance program, the extended benefit (EB) program under Illinois law, or the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program (PEUC), including independent contractors and sole-proprietors. Up to 39 weeks’ worth of benefits are potentially available under the program for COVID-19-related unemployment claims.
Those with questions or in need of assistance with unemployment benefits at this time are encouraged to visit IDES.Illinois.gov.