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Illinois Lags Behind In Payments To Independent Contractors

CHICAGO (CBS) -- While most people are looking to file unemployment or just make some cash, many professionals are owed thousands of dollars for work already finished, and there is no check in the mail. The state is behind in paying thousands of private contractors, including those who work as child therapists.

With the mandated stay-at-home order, streets are desolate and many services are halted. That includes Flor Avila's job as a child development therapist.

"We had to stop our one on one visits going to the people's homes to give services," she said.

Avila works as an independent contractor for "Early Intervention Program." It's funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services. Her concern isn't centered completely around not working.

"We're still behind seven weeks at this moment," she said.

She has not received a payment since the second week of February.

CBS 2 first exposed the problem last November, revealing how the state owed hundreds of private contractors.

At that time Avila was due more than $11,000.

The state comptroller eventually cut the checks, but in the middle of this pandemic, cash is limited and as a 10-99 private contractor, unemployment is not an option.

"At the end of the form it said that it said I would get zero money," Avila said.

This week the state comptroller announced "further payment delays are expected in coming weeks and months" and added $1 billion traditionally expected in the month of April" due to income ta payment will be delayed.

"Our monies  haven't been paid in seven plus weeks, and we're not going to get unemployment so where does that leave us?" Avila asked.

Avila said many therapists are considering leaving the field. She fears if the checks take until July when the pandemic is over there won't be any qualified therapists to help the children.

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