AURORA, Ill. – Following the significant increase in unemployment claims due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent issues of delayed payments and fraud, state Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Oswego, participated in a joint House committee hearing on Thursday to seek answers from the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, my office has been inundated with calls from constituents seeking assistance with unemployment claims,” Kifowit said. “We’ve been working diligently to assist as many people as possible to connect them with their benefits, but there have been significant issues with the Department. Identify fraud, no call back calls, in addition to many other unique issues residents are facing need to be addressed by the Department, and today was the opportunity to start holding the Department accountable.”

With the ability to now hold remote committee meetings, the Illinois House can resume working on behalf of the residents.  In her role as chair of the State Government Administration Committee, Kifowit led the joint House committee hearing on Thursday with the Appropriations-General Services Committee and the Labor & Commerce Committee. IDES Director Kristin Richards provided testimony highlighting the metrics on current unemployment cases, their process for responding to claimants and their plans for improving practices in the future in addition to recognizing the issues that everyday individuals and families are struggling with.  There are plans for additional committee meetings in the future to continue to address IDES concerns.

“While IDES clearly has a lot of work ahead of it, today’s hearing was a productive conversation and it provided legislators an opportunity to ask questions about issues that we have been seeking answers on for many months and hold the Director accountable,” Kifowit said. “As the pandemic continues to impact our daily lives, I will be working with my colleagues to make sure we are doing all that we can to provide benefits and resources to unemployed individuals and also finds ways to get people back to work.”

For more information regarding her committees or legislation, please visit Kifowit’s website at or email her at

Rep. Stephanie KifowitRep. Stephanie Kifowit

84th District

Visit Rep Kifowit’s website

Springfield Office:
255-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8028

District Office:
1677 Montgomery Rd.
Ste. 116
Aurora, IL  60504
(630) 585-1308
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