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Some Illinois Unemployment Recipients Still Haven't Received 1099-G Tax Forms In Mail, Have Trouble Downloading Them Online

CHICAGO (CBS) -- For weeks, we have been telling you about fraudulent unemployment claims affecting your tax returns.

On Tuesday, CBS 2's Tara Molina looked into complaints where people say the State of Illinois still has not sent out the paperwork they desperately need to file.

Kathleen Hewes works in tax preparation. She knows exactly what she needs to do when it comes to her unemployment claim and her taxes.

The problem is that she is waiting on the state - and we found she's not the only one.

Hewes checks her mailbox every day for the one thing she needs to finish her taxes.

"I'm 67 years old and I haven't missed a tax date yet," Hewes said.

She has been waiting on her 1099-G form from Illinois Department of Employment Security for weeks now so she can claim the few months of unemployment benefits she received last year.

"I just want to get it over with; get it taken care of," Hewes said, "and that's all I'm waiting on."

She said mail delays have not been an issue where she lives in south suburban Crete. But she has tried downloading the form electronically too, just in case.

"I couldn't get nothing," Hewes said.

We know she's not the only one. A state senator just asked the director of IDES about that issue in the Senate hearing on unemployment issues last week.

"We have received many calls about validation errors and inability to actually download those, so if you could please let me know if you're looking into that," said Sen. Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon).

The irony here, again, is that Hewes works in tax prep. She has been waiting on a callback from IDES to address her missing form, and all she can tell others when she's working on their taxes is to play the exact same waiting game.

"I mean, there's other people my office that don't have theirs; their family members that don't have theirs - and they don't know what to do. None of us do," Hewes said. "It's all in the government's hands, and they don't seem to be hearing us."

So we took her story, and more than a dozen others like it, to the state - asking about the delay, and long waits on calls for help on a time-sensitive tax document.

The spokeswoman for IDES told us there is no delay, releasing the following statement:

"There have been no delays in the Department releasing 1099-G forms. Both the electronic and physical forms were made available Friday, January 29, 2021. Retrieving 1099-G forms remains the same for claimants who collected unemployment insurance benefits in 2020. When a claimant submits an unemployment insurance claim application, they are prompted to select how they would like to receive this tax form at the end of the year - electronically or physically. A claimant who opted to receive a 1099-G form electronically should login to their account and access it online; a claimant who opted to receive a 1099-G form physically will be mailed the form via USPS to the address the claimant has on file. Claimants who opted to receive the physical form are encouraged to keep an eye on their mailboxes for this form. Individuals experiencing technical issues accessing their electronic forms should contact IDES at 800.244.5631."

The spokeswoman did not acknowledge issues people are having downloading the form electronically.

Hewes has contacted the IDES for technical issues as advised. So until she gets the call she requested weeks ago – an answer – she has no choice but to keep waiting.

"I don't want to file without it, because then I know next year I have to pay for amends," she said.

CBS 2 is committing to Working For Chicago, connecting you every day with the information you or a loved one might need about the jobs market, and helping you remove roadblocks to getting back to work.

We'll keep uncovering information every day to help this community get back to work, until the job crisis passes. CBS 2 has several helpful items right here on our website, including a look at specific companies that are hiring, and information from the state about the best way to get through to file for unemployment benefits in the meantime.

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