New COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies, Childcare Resources, IDES System Updates, and More

Dear Neighbor,

Last week, Governor Pritzker announced a revised redistricting of the state's Restore Illinois plan, which breaks up the previous 4 regions into 11, in an attempt to target local conditions more precisely and better track new coronavirus cases. Dr. Ngozi Ezike of the Illinois Department of Public Health outlined the 3-tiered mitigation strategy that recommends actions to be taken in various public settings should there be a severe COVID-19 resurgence. The specific metrics for mitigation can be viewed here.

In this newsletter, you will find information on Child Care Restoration Grants, IDES system updates, additional regulations for Chicago businesses during the pandemic, new dates for Dine Out on Broadway/Sheffield program from the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce and financial assistance with utility bills from the Illinois Commerce Commission.

As always, if you have any general questions about services or specific COVID-19 guidelines, feel free to call our office at 773-348-8974; email us at; or visit Also be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter for the most recent news and updates as we receive them.

Wishing you and your loved ones health and peace.

Yours in service,


Yoni Pizer
State Representative, 12th District

Child Care Restoration Grant Programs

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, child care centers across the state have stepped up to ensure the first responders, medical workers and other essential employees fighting on the front lines of this emergency can work with peace of mind that their children are being well taken care of.
The child care sector has been hit especially hard due to the pandemic, but is an important part of our economy and is invaluable to families throughout Illinois. Lawmakers like myself have worked with the governor to direct $270 million to help provide relief to child care providers and ensure they are able to stay open and available through Child Care Restoration Grants.
Applications to apply for the Child Care Restoration Grant will be available starting today - Monday, July 20. To assist providers in the application process, Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (INCCRRA) will offer webinars on Tuesday, July 21 in English (10 a.m.) and Spanish (6:30 p.m.). To register or learn more, please visit
Licensed child care homes and centers in good standing with the Illinois Secretary of State are eligible to apply if they can demonstrate a business interruption due to regulatory changes to child care due to public health and safety guidelines in response to COVID-19. Non-profit and for-profit providers are eligible to apply. Initial funds will be awarded in August.
If you have any thoughts you’d like to share, or for more information on Child Care Restoration Grants, please contact my office.

IDES System Updates

During the COVID-19 pandemic, our office's ability to assist with Unemployment Insurance and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance has been limited due to federal rules around access to the data and systems, but we have done our best to ensure our constituents get the help they need. Unfortunately, as of last week, legislative offices have been informed that we are only to refer individual cases to the Department of Employment Security in extreme circumstances such as fraud and identity theft. All others should use the newly announced “call back” system rolled out this week and described below. 

This new process has been the result of increased requests from individuals and has resulted in increased pressure on the Department of Employment Security from legislative offices. Over the course of the last few months we have remained in contact with the administration and sent a letter highlighting some of the common issues individuals are experiencing and have requested a streamlined process for submitting individual cases and concerns. 

Last week, IDES rolled out an automatic call back option where individuals can contact the claimant services center and request a call back. Individuals can only submit one request at a time and are placed in a queue in the order their request is received. The system apparently gives you an estimated wait time, but that has not shown to be very accurate in our limited experience with the constituents who have been using it. We have recently learned that it can take up to 3 business days to receive a call back from the 800-244-5631 claimant services number. If you do not receive a call back after 3 business days please feel free to reach back out to us as we are continuing to monitor the newly launched system. 

You will be called back Monday through Friday. Call back numbers and hours are as follows: 

Claimant Services Center- 7:30 AM -7:00 PM (800.244.5631)
Most individuals need to speak to the claimant services department if they are having an issue certifying for benefits, have been locked out of their account or are trying to correct for missing payments. 7:30 AM -7:00 PM (877.342.7533) 
This number is for those who need to register or are locked out of their jobs link account.

Benefit Payment Control and Employer Hotline- 8:30 AM-5:00 PM (800.247.4984)
This number is for fraud and identity theft cases or for employers to contest an employees application for benefits. 

For those who previously reached out to our office and were placed on our “call back list” to receive a call back from IDES within 10-12 days, the department has shared that they are still honoring those requests. If you did not receive a call back in the 10-12 day time frame after we submitted a request we would encourage you to call the claimant services number and get in queue via their automated system. 

We apologize for not being able to further assist you with your unemployment claim. However we are still continuing to provide constituent services in all the other areas you have come to expect and value from our office.

New Regulations from Mayor's Office, CDPH & BACP

Dine Out in Lakeview East Weekend Event

Following the success of the pilot program that enabled Lakeview diners to eat outside at their favorite local restaurants, Dine Out Broadway is back in Lakeview East! The program adds Sheffield Avenue, with the following updated weekend hours:

Broadway Ave. will close from Belmont to Surf, beginning at 9AM Friday, July 24 through 12:00AM Monday, July 27th.  No vehicular traffic will be allowed during this time period and residents are asked to arrange for any scavenger services and deliveries before Friday.  Mariano's will remain open and can be accessed from Wellington to Broadway.

Sheffield Ave. will close from Belmont to School on Friday, July 31, August 1 and August 2nd.  No vehicular traffic will be allowed between 9AM Friday to 12:00AM on Monday, August 3rd. Hours of Operation will be: Friday and Saturday, Noon to 10PM, and Sunday from 11AM to 9PM.

Visit for more information.


Financial Assistance with Utility Billing from the Illinois Commerce Commission

Copyright © 2020 State Representative Yoni Pizer, All rights reserved.


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Chicago, IL 60657

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