IDES confirms data breach to Pandemic Unemployment Assistance system

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) has confirmed a limited data access issue within the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) system.

An analysis found that one PUA claimant was able to inadvertently access personal identifying information of a limited number of claimants.  That claimant notified the Department of the issue and within an hour, it was corrected to prevent any future unauthorized access.

IDES has contracted with Deloitte to create and maintain the web-based PUA portal, which went live on Monday, May 11, and is working in partnership with the vendor to run a full-scale investigation into the matter while conducting additional testing to prevent any potential future occurrences.  IDES will release results of the analysis once completed and notify anyone affected. IDES will also explore further remediation on the part of Deloitte upon completion of the investigation. 

The Department encourages claimants to continue filing for unemployment benefits through the PUA portal if they are still in need or have not yet done so already.  Though the system is only one week old, more than 50,000 claims have been processed through the PUA system.  PUA provides 100% federally-funded unemployment benefits for individuals who are unemployed for specified COVID-19-related reasons and are not eligible for the state’s regular unemployment insurance program, the extended benefit (EB) program under Illinois law, or the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program (PEUC), including independent contractors and sole-proprietors.  Up to 39 weeks’ worth of benefits are potentially available under the program for COVID-19-related unemployment claims. 

Those with questions or in need of assistance with unemployment benefits at this time are encouraged to visit IDES.Illinois.gov.

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