Some find frustration filing jobless claim

February 5, 2009 3:33:53 PM PST
Jobless claims in the U.S. have reached a 26-year high. The latest figures show new unemployment claims are up and so is the number of people filing for extended jobless benefits. People filing claims at one Chicago unemployment office say frustration is also building. The Illinois Department of Emploment Security says jobless claims have reached an all-time high. Those filing claims walked in and out of the IDES location in the 4900-block of Diversey all day. Nebil Loudani lost his construction job months ago and has spent hours at this location applying and reapplying for unemployment benefits.

"You have to sit here three to four hours to get an answer ...nobody cares," said Loudani.

"I have been here three times. My parents support me and I have to look for food," said Leticia Quiceno, unemployed.

Chris Phoenix, a car salesmen, lost his job a year ago and is trying to get an extension

"I have been here since 9 a.m. for a 30 second response," said Phoenix.

Greg Rivara, IDES media manager, says those filing claims must be patient and be prepared when they visit an office. Have two forms of identification, a valid Social Security number, work history for the past 18 months and the Social Security number for spouse

"The federal extension is totally different," said Rivara. "People receiving unemployment insurance now, if they are eligible for the federal extension, they need not reapply for any spouse and we will notify them."

All the claimants ABC7 spoke with said they are frustrated with IDES. They said they are told time and time again to fill out another application and they will get a notice in the mail that never comes. The offices are short of help at all the locations, they said, and no one ever answers the phone lines .

Illinois Department of Employment Security web site: