CHICAGO (CBS) — A suburban man said unlike many others, he has gotten through many times to the Illinois Department of Employment Security – but it has ultimately been of no help.
Robert Rybaltowski has made contact with IDES more than 40 times, but it’s getting him nowhere. As CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov reported, Rybaltowski still does not know why his benefits were stopped.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Illinois: Average Infection Rate Falls To Lowest Point Since Late March; Vaccinations Still Lagging From April Peak
IDES offices are still closed to the public, so people with problems rely on their phone and a callback system to get answers. That has often taken weeks or even months.
But such is not the case of Rybaltowski. He has had almost four dozen calls with IDES employees in the past two weeks.
But not one of them has been able to solve his problems.
“I’m in a bad situation,” Rybaltowski said.
Rybaltowski said it is only getting worse since the state stopped his unemployment benefits almost two weeks ago. First, it was a “pending issues” notation in his account, and then, “week denied” replaced “benefit paid” in his history.
Another email stated, “Claimant has an unemployment claim in LA (Louisiana). Deny PUA Illinois.”
So Rybaltowski began calling IDES.
“I just keep getting this go-around,” he said.
He said he gets the “go-around” from dozens of employees who have actually called him back – but keep giving him conflicting information. Add a new $24,600 overpayment to his troubles, and Rybaltowski just feels stuck.
Rybaltowski: “So for the past two weeks, I have spoken to 41 agents.”READ MORE: Illinois Launches 'Time For Me To Drive' Tourism Campaign As State Prepares To Fully Reopen Next Month
Kozlov: “So you’ve spoken to 41 different people, and nobody has been able to help you?”
Rybaltowski: “I keep getting different things.”
He was advised to file a fraud claim in Louisiana, and he did. He also appealed, and submitted an overpayment waiver, as he was advised to do.
Rybaltowski: “It’s just so confusing.
Kozlov: “You don’t know what to do.”
Rybaltowski: “No, and I’ve done everything they told me to do.”
Rybaltowski said bills are piling up.
“It’s just stressful,” he said.
After Kozlov reached out to IDES to ask what someone in his situation should do, he actually got another call from the agency. But again, there was no solution for Rybaltowski, and Kozlov has not heard directly back from IDES for this story at all.
CBS 2 is committing to Working For Chicago, connecting you every day with the information you or a loved one might need about the jobs market, and helping you remove roadblocks to getting back to work.MORE NEWS: Chicago Bears Single-Game Tickets Go On Sale Wednesday Night
We’ll keep uncovering information every day to help this community get back to work, until the job crisis passes. CBS 2 has several helpful items right here on our website, including a look at specific companies that are hiring, and information from the state about the best way to get through to file for unemployment benefits in the meantime.