CHICAGO (CBS) — For those trying to get help from IDES, there’s a possible solution to a problem CBS 2 has been covering for months.
It’s the broken IDES callback system. CBS 2’s Steven Graves has new information about what the agency finally plans to do.READ MORE: Family Sues After They Say Chicago Police Burst Into Their Home, Pointed Guns at Kids in 2019
The more than 100,000 numbers in the callback cue are only slightly improving. And there’s now a system of accountability in place.
But will it work?
Single mother of four, Chicago resident Sierra Dillard, lost a wheelchair accessible vehicle for her daughter and almost faced eviction.
“I was really really scared because I did not have any money coming in,” Dillard said.
Joliet resident Samiki Booker had to sell her ring.
“For $400 to have money.”
Both are just a fraction of tens of thousands of people all plagued by the massive backlog in the callback system at the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
People complaining about dropped calls and rude agents. For many, their unemployment benefits just stopped. No explanation and no answers.
“If you see a list of numbers, you should call and say ‘Oh, shouldn’t I get some of these numbers off of here, so I can start calling people back?’ Like, what are they doing,” said Booker.READ MORE: Woman Pistol-Whipped On CTA Blue Line Train In Bucktown
Today, IDES Director Kristin Richards briefed state representatives on the call backlog. She said there are currently 101,000 numbers in the queue.
That’s down from the 155,000 CBS 2 discovered in February.
On average, about 10,000 new numbers come in every day while 12,000 get completed by about 650 agents.
“She said it was nothing you did. It was a system error.”
Dillard said she finally got a call back two weeks ago, four months after the fact. And when her issue was fixed, the calls kept coming: nine of them.
“My issues are resolved. There are lots of people waiting on calls,” she said.
IDES supervisors usually listen in and monitor agents. A recent change is that new data analytics will keep a record of every call to help discover if something goes wrong.
They can then identify the agent.
CBS 2 asked will this speed up the callbacks? And is there accountability for agents?MORE NEWS: Woman Injured In Crash On DuSable Lake Shore Drive, Good Samaritans Help Her Escape Burning Car
On Thursday, there were talks about budgeting for virtual appointments. But no timeline for that for reopening offices.