The Illinois Department of Employment Security has reported that the new system launched recently for individuals who are ineligible for regular unemployment benefits to file for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance allowed some private information to be publicly available for a brief period. The new system, which has a much higher capacity to handle volumes when compared to the existing systems,  had only been active for under a week when the breach was discovered.

The agency is performing a full investigation to assess exactly what happened and how many people were impacted. The individuals affected by the data breach will receive notification from the agency upon completion of the investigation.

The data breach is just the latest issue for the already struggling state agency. With the deluge of unemployment claims filed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, claimants have struggled with issues accessing the online filing system and getting through by phone, which the agency has blamed on inadequate technology and agency understaffing.

 


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