CHICAGO (AP) – Illinois state lawmakers said they have constituents who are suicidal because of continued frustrations around getting through to the state’s unemployment agency.
During a virtual hearing Thursday, committee members asked the Illinois Department of Employment Security about unemployment fraud, tax forms for those getting unemployment, overpayment waivers and other issues constituents are concerned about.
Other lawmakers pushed for there to be an emergency line for constituents to call who are in crisis.
IDES officials said the reason their offices remain closed is because they worry about their employees getting threats from angry constituents.
State Rep. Lindsey LaPointe, D-Chicago, said constituents are at their wits end and some are suicidal over their frustrations.
“People around the state are having severe mental health problems because of their inability to communicate with IDES,” she said.
If you or a loved one is struggling with suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.