CHICAGO (CBS) -- Some Illinois residents need a form from the state to file their taxes and for the third year in a row – and there are huge problems accessing it.
CBS 2's Tara Molina brought those problems straight to the Illinois Department of Employment Security on Monday.
The tax form in question is something those who have filed for unemployment need this time of year. It's called a 1099-G form, and for the third year in a row, people are reaching out to us since they're having issues getting it from the state.
So we are asking - why is this still a problem, and what's being done to fix it?
We have been taking with people who are having trouble getting the 1099-G form for years now.
"I couldn't get nothing," said Kathleen Hewes in 2021.
"It's been a nightmare," said Brandee Thatch in 2022.
And now, here we are in 2023.
"This was an exercise in frustration - plain and simple," said Michael Bissman.
Unemployment claimants cannot file their taxes without the 1099-G form. The problem lies with IDES.
Bissman reached out to us when he couldn't get help from the state right away - but found our past coverage of similar issues.
"This sounds like the same issue as the previous years," he said.
So what's the deal?
Bissman got a notice from IDES telling him the 1099-G tax form he requested was ready for him to view and print. But it wasn't that easy.
"It would not redirect me straight to 1099-G where that form was," he said.
Accessing the form required a call to the unemployment office, and a wait for a returned call from a representative - when, he says, as an IT worker by trade, IDES could simply update a link on their own website so people are directed to the right place in the first place.
"Putting a keywords search text box on there and a frequently asked questions page would help people if you have trouble navigating this issue or other issues," Bissman advised as a possible solution.
It would save time for people like Bissman, and those taking calls for help.
"Customer service representatives could be doing other things," Bissman said.
Through public records request, we know at the end of last month, there were about 2,500 calls a day to the state's unemployment office. A total of 88 call-takers were active – 75 of them handling help calls.
The state hasn't addressed how many of those callers needed help with the tax form, like Michael.
But for perspective, at this time last year, there were about 7,179 calls a day. 241 people handling them, and about 10,000 backlogged calls for 1099 issues.
Of course, we brought all of this to the state – specifically to IDES. We are still waiting on a spokesperson to address this issue and what's being done to fix it. When they do, we will update this story.
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