ITASCA, Ill. (CBS) — Fraudsters are taking hundreds of dollars from an Itasca woman’s state pension.
The woman didn’t realize she was a victim of unemployment fraud until she got a pension check that wouldn’t cover her bills.
CBS 2’s Tara Molina reported investigated the issue Thursday and took it to the State of Illinois.
Shon Miles has done everything she can to fix the issue before money is deducted from her next pension check. She has called the Illinois Department of Employment Security, and has even showed up here at their office in Arlington Heights.
There have been no answers. So we started asking.
“Somebody made me a victim,” Miles said.
Miles worked for the State of Illinois, in Human Services, for more than 20 years. But she retired years ago.
So, when she got a notification about a deduction for state pension check, she was shocked and not pleased at all.
“It says ‘overpaid unemployment benefits,’” Mile said.
And is Miles getting unemployment? No she is not.
“I didn’t get one penny!” she said.
But the money was taken from Miles without asking – by another state agency.
“I was violated,” she said.
Why would that happen over an issue with an unemployment claim.
“I worked 26 years!” Miles said. “Why would I need unemployment?”
Miles relies on that check, and she couldn’t cover her bills this month.
“The only thing I was able to pay, thank God, is my rent,” she said.
And she’s already worried about the check coming in October.
But reaching IDES to report the fraud, and put a stop to the hundreds in deductions of money she needs? That has proved to be easier said than done.
“I can’t get through to IDES,” Miles said.
She even showed up at the Arlington Heights office, which is closed to the public. But she was desperate.
“I want to talk to a person,” Miles said. “I used to work for the Illinois Department of Human Services. These people want to talk to a person.”
So Molina took Miles’ concerns to the state, asking what can be done for her – and how a fraudster was able to get unemployment in her name when she’s taking a state pension.
“I know I’m not the only one,” Miles said.
An IDES spokeswoman said in response to Miles’ complaints, “As you know, we can’t comment on details of individual cases.” The spokeswoman would not say if the issue could be more widespread, but said the department will look into Miles’ complaint.
Late Thursday, Miles said IDES did call about her issue after Molina provided the department with Miles’ information.
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.