CHICAGO (WLS) -- In the past few weeks the Illinois Department of Employment Security has opened more offices across the state for in-person appointments, but only one in Chicago.
One state representative and some consumers told the ABC7 I-Team they want more options as demand for financial help persists.
So far, there are 13 IDES offices open in the state of Illinois, and though they are appointment only people who need help are showing up as hopeful walk-ins.
"I come because no one answers the phone," said Alfonso Cababa. He waited outside the only open Chicago IDES location in Pilsen, because he's not having lucky getting help on the phone.
An out-of-work cook, he's trying to get certified so he can get money into his account. He said he's been out of work since the pandemic began. He was turned away because he didn't have an appointment. An agent gave him a pamphlet with a special number to call and schedule an appointment.
"I have people calling every day, trying to recertify and some believe there is fraud in the system and their clams have been interrupted, so this unemployment situation is still critical, and we need more people to help the system," said 8th District State representative La Shawn Ford.
Ford applauded the offices that are open, but he said there needs to be more and quickly.
"We need to see more offices open, unemployment is still high and we have a backlog of people waiting to be approved for their benefits," Rep. Ford said.
Starisha Parteli also showed up to the Pilsen office without an appointment. She said she hasn't been paid since July because someone hacked into her IDES account and changed her account information. She's having trouble getting the situation ironed out on the phone and online, so she stopped by the Pilsen office.
"They (the fraudsters) changed the bank information and email information. They (IDES) tell me be patient and I'm just waiting on a form and it should have been to me two months ago," she said.
The laid off pay day loan worker was also given that number to schedule an appointment, something Ford says appears to be working.
"Someone will call them back immediately to schedule an appointment," Ford said.
IDES said that a final round of offices will open in the coming weeks. Scheduled appointments are for particular reasons.
An appointment may be scheduled for one of the following reasons:
To schedule an appointment, you must request a callback via the Scheduling Hotline at (217) 558-0401.
IDES OFFICE LOCATIONS CURRENTLY OPEN:
Rockford | 303 North Main Street
Harvey | 16845 South Halsted
Champaign | 1307 North Mattis Avenue
Mt. Vernon | 333 Potomac Boulevard, Suite E
Belleville | 7650 Magna Drive, Suite 120
Pilsen | 1700 West 18th Street, Chicago
Wheeling | 1400 South Wolf Road
Beginning September 7, 2021:
Effingham | 2311 Hoffman Drive
Ottawa | 1550 First Avenue, South Towne Mall
Peoria | 406 Elm Street
Quincy | 107 North 3rd Street
Rock Island | 500 42nd Street, Suite 1
Springfield | 1300 South 9th Street