pexels anna shvets 4226218CHAMPAIGN – In search of answers for out-of-work residents in central Illinois and across the state, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) will question representatives from the Illinois Department of Employment Security regarding unemployment insurance issues during the pandemic at the Senate Labor Committee’s subject matter hearing Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 10 a.m.

The unprecedented flood of claims in the last year, when more than 1 million Illinoisans lost their jobs, overwhelmed the department.

“Unemployment cases have been, without a doubt, the number one issue my office has been handling since March,” said Bennett, a member of the Senate Labor Committee. “I hope we can learn more about the problems the agency is facing and what legislators can do to allow them to successfully help folks navigating the unemployment system.”

The public and lawmakers continue to express concerns about claimants being able to reach and receive assistance from the agency with their unemployment claims, as well as to get their payments. Illinois is also one of many states dealing with a wave of fraudulent claims, and the agency is seeking to implement tougher security measures to ensure benefits are only paid to verified recipients.

Since the pandemic began, Bennett has solicited input from colleagues and constituents about specific and ongoing issues to help shape long-term solutions. This hearing will give members serving on the Labor Committee an opportunity to ask for details from IDES officials.

WHAT: Senate Labor Committee

WHO: Senator Scott Bennett, Labor Committee members and representatives of IDES

WHEN: Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 10 a.m.

WHERE: To view virtual committee proceedings, visit and click "Watch Live Virtual Committee Video." The link will become available when proceedings begin. Blue Room Stream, a subscription-based service, will also stream the hearing.