CHICAGO (CBS) — Imagine taking the time to certify for unemployment benefits almost 20 times and still not seeing a dime. CBS 2 is Working for Chicago with reporting that uncovers failures by the state.

The process started for Paul Chapman months ago, and like so many others, he says he can’t get through to IDES for the help he needs.

“I am just getting very frustrated,” said the out of work IT guy.

Chapman says he and his family are living in a rented room in Des Plaines just to make ends meet.

“We’re having to go to food pantries just to eat,” he said.

He is trying to find work now, but he’s missing the months of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Benefits he claims are owed to him.

“I haven’t gotten a penny,” he said.

But he says he’s certified for benefits 19 times only to see his account show that it has pending issues.

“It says pending issues and the pending issues says look to your inbox for problems. I look at the inbox, there’s nothing in the inbox,” he said.

He shared photos of his account to prove it. Since he can’t resolve the issue on his own, he says he’s tried to get through to IDES hundreds of times, but that is not working.

“They never have enough people to answer the phones,” he said. “What am I supposed to do? I can’t get ahold of no one.”

CBS 2 reached out to IDES early Friday afternoon with his claims and the issue he’s having after he certifies, sharing Paul’s name and contact information, with his permission but had not heard back Friday night.

Tara Molina