Free Credit Monitoring Offered to 32,483 Claimants Impacted
SPRINGFIELD – State Representative Darren Bailey (R-Xenia) has learned that the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) today publicly acknowledged a data breach in the in the benefits application system it built for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program for self-employed and contract workers. IDES, working with program creator Deloitte (Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited) to investigate the data breach of last Friday, announced that a notification will begin to go out to 32,483 claimants whose information may have been viewed by anyone not entitled to that private, personal information including names, addresses, and full social security numbers of people applying for benefits.
“I understand why the governor and IDES want to minimize this embarrassing incident, but we really don’t know how many people may have accessed the personal information of more than thirty-two thousand applicants,” said Rep. Bailey.
Individuals receiving the notice will have the option to enroll in 12 months of free credit monitoring, a service being offered by Deloitte. A one-year membership of Experian’s IdentityWorks identity protection service is available to these claimants, at no cost. More information, including the pre-paid code for this service, is available in the notice sent to claimants.
As a reminder, federal law entitles everyone to one free credit report per year from each of the three main credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Those interested in more information about protecting personal information are encouraged to visit the Illinois Attorney General’s website and the Federal Trade Commission’s website.
Claimants are encouraged to continue to file for unemployment benefits through the PUA portal if they are still in need or have not yet done so already. PUA provides 100% federally-funded unemployment benefits for individuals who are unemployed for specified COVID-19-related reasons and are not eligible for the state’s regular unemployment insurance program, the extended benefit (EB) program under Illinois law, or the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program (PEUC), including independent contractors and sole-proprietors. Up to 39 weeks’ worth of benefits are potentially available under the program for COVID-19-related unemployment claims.
Those with questions or in need of assistance with unemployment benefits at this time should visit the IDES website at IDES.Illinois.gov.