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Trouble Accessing 1099-G Tax Forms For Unemployment Benefits Online? A Tech Expert Has A Possible Fix

CHICAGO (CBS) -- There was no progress report Thursday when it comes to people having a hard time with the 1099-G forms they need to finish filing their taxes.

But after our story this week revealing technical difficulties accessing the tax document online, an IT expert reached out to CBS 2's Tara Molina with an idea.

The expert and professor said, for those stuck at home right now and unable to access the 1099-G form they need to file their taxes, a fix could be as simple as opening private browser window.

We've been hearing from people every day of the week who claim that can't access and download the 1099-G form they need from the IDES to file their taxes if they received unemployment compensation.

"I couldn't get nothing," Kathleen Hewes told us on Tuesday.

Hewes has not gotten her 1099-G in the mailbox, and she is also having a computer issue with the 1099-G – leaving her stuck waiting on a call from the state.

But then we started getting tips about a possible fix.

One viewer wrote in: "In regards to the IDES 1099-G issue people have been having, I myself had the same issue. I couldn't download it from my home computer, so we went to the library and tried. I was able to download it from there after resetting my password. I had a relative do the same after they had the same issue and it worked for them also."

So we brought the issue to an expert – Jeremy Hajek, a professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Hajek specializes in IT orchestration and technology infrastructure.

"There could be some technological reasons. We know during the holidays, Christmastime, the major web browsers Microsoft, Google, Firefox had elongated Flash technology in the browser," Hajek said. "Could this tax form be using that technology?"

He called the viewer tip about using a different computer good troubleshooting, but had some advice of his own.

"Definitely resetting your password seems in certain cases to have helped," Hajek said.

And no matter what computer a claimant is using, he advised trying to log in on a private web browser.

"This is a type of technology that could allow someone at home to try, without having to go to another place or use another computer, and still keep all of their information and passwords on their own system," Hajek said.

Why would a private web browser be a solution?

"There could just be some issue with an older version of the website being cached in your browser and using a technology like in-private browsing," Hajek said.

Of course, we checked in with the Illinois Department of Employment Security on this - asking if their IT department is looking into possible fixes.

Spokeswoman Rebecca Cisco responded with this statement: "While it's possible pop-up blockers or firewalls could be preventing some claimant access to 1099-G forms, – a setting outside the control of IDES – the vast majority of claimants who requested their 1099-G form electronically have accessed the form successfully."

Hajek did not find that relevant.

"I don't think pop up blockers or firewalls have really been a problem in 10, 15 years. So that really was kind of a non-answer," he said.

Meanwhile, the IDES is blaming a "system error" for locking people out of their online accounts this week.

Several CBS 2 viewers alerted us to the problem, telling us it happened when they tried to certify for their weekly benefits - even though they were entering the right password.

The IDES said the glitch is now fixed. If you missed your normal certification day, Thursdays and Fridays are open makeup days.

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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