State Senator Darren Bailey (R-Louisville) has released the following statement in regards to the failures outlined in a recent audit of the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES):
“This is another example where the Pritzker Administration failed to put adequate measures into place to maintain the integrity of our state’s unemployment system. For months now, I have called on the Governor’s office to open up IDES offices, an essential public state agency for applicants and fraud victims to get the help they need.
“Instead, Governor Pritzker continues to put the lives of many Illinoisans at risk by making reckless decisions and not implementing basic safeguards to protect our state’s system. This audit report shows the current administration failed to properly check the identities, birthdates, and social security numbers of thousands of claimants costing the state millions of dollars.
“I echo calls for a full performance audit of IDES in hopes to provide transparency and bring light to the issue as this careless administration cost innocent victims their identity during an already difficult situation.”
Some of the key findings by the auditors include:
- The Pritzker Administration distributed up to $154,906,354 in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance to ineligible claimants. (finding #2, page 26)
- The Pritzker Administration failed to validate the identities of 4,579 claimants before paying them $41,697,272. (finding #2, page 23)
- The Pritzker Administration paid both Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and regular unemployment insurance benefits to 638 claimants, resulting in the claimants receiving benefits under both programs. (finding #2, page 23)
- The Pritzker Administration paid benefits to 266 claimants that had birthdays the same day as or after the date of the claim submission. At least one claimant who received benefits is to be born in 2029. (finding #2, page 24)
- The Pritzker Administration paid benefits to 35 claimants who were deceased. (finding #2, page 24)
- The Pritzker Administration paid Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits to 63 claimants who were 90 years old or older. (finding #3, page 27)
The Auditor General’s findings can be found here.