* On Monday, Gov. JB Pritzker was asked about the crush of people trying to file for unemployment insurance who couldn’t get through…
First of all, this is just an unprecedented number of people that are seeking unemployment claims during this time period. I don’t think we’ve ever seen this before, even in periods during the 2008-2009 crisis. Having said that, we found over the weekend and over the last you know couple days of the week that the systems that we had that were supporting the online applications wasn’t robust enough to take all of the applications that were coming in at one time. And so we’re porting that system entirely over to a much more expansive foundational software system and server. So we won’t have any of those problems going forward. So we’ve taken care of, I think, the online problem.
The phone line problem is another issue. We had to take non essential staff and push them up to the front lines to answer phones to make sure we answered any questions we would like anybody who needs to apply for unemployment though, to go to the website it really will be. It’s now a, you know, as I say it’s on a new platform, we’ll be able to take many more at the same time, we want to fulfill peoples’ needs during this crisis and we’re going to.
He’s right about the unprecedented nature of this crisis. It’s just never happened before. Every state is having these sorts of problems. But he’s the one who raised expectations.
* When a reporter pointed out the ongoing problems with the IDES website and problems getting through by phone, the governor said the reporter was 100 percent right, and added…
As I’ve said, this is an unprecedented number of people who are applying at the same time. And our DoIT, our Department of Innovation Technology, our state CIO, have been on this every day. They’re trying very hard to expand availability, they are expanding the availability. But it is true that we remain overloaded.
People are going to have to be patient at least for now. Over the course of this week those changes are coming online. I can’t guarantee that it’s going to be easy for everybody who gets there, especially if people show up all at the same time during work hours for example. But you can go online, any time of day or night. And so I would suggest to people that perhaps finding off hours to go online to make that filing will be much easier for you and easier on the system.
So, you know, hang with us here we’re going to make changes that are making it better. But it is true, it’s not working the way that I want it to, either.
He needs to seriously kick some DoIT tail and perhaps call in some of his homies from the tech world to help us out.
Yes, nobody ever expected this. I’m not blaming DoIT for its initial failure. I’m faulting DoIT because its honchos told the governor they had fixed the problem when they hadn’t. That’s unforgivable.