State officials blamed a “glitch” in Illinois’ new online system for processing unemployment benefits for briefly making the private information of some applicants public.
An Illinois Department of Employment Security website showed claimants' Social Security numbers and other details, according to WBEZ.Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh characterized it as a “glitch.” The information belonged to independent contractors, who became eligible for jobless aid this year.
The agency said later Sunday in a statement that an analysis showed one claimant was able to “inadvertently access personal identifying information of a limited number of claimants.” After the claimant notified the department, the issue was corrected “within an hour.” Agency officials said they would release the results of an investigation and notify anyone affected.
Illinois launched a computer system last Monday for processing claims for federally-funded benefits to independent contractors who’ve lost jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.
The agency has already faced complaints of delays and other problems amid a record number of unemployment claims. More than 1 million initial claims have been processed since the beginning of March.
Pritzker has vowed to improve the system.
State Rep. Terri Bryant, a Murphysboro Republican, said she was notified of the issue by a constituent who sent her a screenshot of the information Friday. Bryant wrote Pritzker a letter demanding answers “so those affected can protect themselves from identity theft and fraud.”