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August 2, 2010

TeleServe Restored to Certify for Benefits
Internet certification still recommended as faster, easier

CHICAGO – Telephone service has been restored at the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the Department announced today. As a result, claimants are able to certify for unemployment insurance benefits using the telephone-based TeleServe system. However, the Department continues to recommend that claimants certify using the internet.

Certifying for benefits is required before a benefit payment can be issued. The certification process ensures a claimant’s continued eligibility to receive benefits. Internet certification can be accomplished at www.ides.state.il.us  A drop-down menu is in the upper-right corner of the website. The second option, Claim Weeks of Benefits (Certify), can be used to certify for benefits.

IDES was not responsible for the telephone outage. The outage touched some of IDES’ telephone operations, but not internet. Although the outage was in Chicago, telephone certifications were interrupted statewide. The outage occurred on the IDES’ lightest call volume day. Service was restored Sunday.

It is unclear how many claimants were impacted by the outage. The Department assigns benefit certifications for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Although the Department does not assign Friday as a certification day, it is possible that some claimants would choose to certify on that day. Claimants who were unable to certify as a result of the outage should call (800) 244-5631.

IDES customers also can use the website to enroll in the direct deposit program rather than receive benefit payments on a debit card. Direct deposit is a simple, smart and secure way to receive benefits. There are no fees associated with a debit card when used inside more than 5,000 Illinois banks that accept Visa. Free transactions also are available at point-of-service counters that accept Visa, such as grocery stores, drug stores and convenience stores. Customers can request cash back after qualifying purchases. Fees likely will be assessed when using out-of-network ATM machines.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security supports economic stability by administering unemployment benefits, collecting business contributions to fund those benefits, connecting employers with qualified job seekers, and providing economic information to assist career planning and economic development.


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