case study

Illinois Department of Employment Security

Rapid Response Virtual Agent for Citizens’ Unemployment Claims

Public Sector

Business Impacts


in estimated savings


queries answered per day


Live Chat Availability



Customer Key Facts

  • Location : North America
  • Industry : Government

Problem Context

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) started experiencing an unprecedented surge in inbound unemployment claims from those seeking help for available Federal and State pandemic assistance, such as Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC).



  • Intents clashing due to similarity in phrases
  • Building accelerators to automate the changes from development environment to production environment of CMS and Dialogflow agent
  • Integration to third-party telephony operator, Cisco, for handoff to live agent

Technologies Used





Google Cloud Platform

Google Cloud Platform

Google Sheets

Google Sheets



COVID-19 Question-Answering Virtual Agent for State and Federal Unemployment Benefits

To effectively respond to the large number of incoming queries surrounding unemployment claims, the Illinois Department of Employment Security wanted a chatbot and a telephony bot that could handle their basic 37 queries related to benefits and compensation for unemployed individuals.


Quantiphi developed and deployed a Rapid Response Virtual Agent for the IDES website and call center that effectively assisted citizens with 3.2 million inquiries in its first two weeks of going live. The virtual agent was trained on 100+ custom intents in just four weeks for responding to unemployment claim-related inquiries. Today, it is capable of handling over 120 different type of user queries. The virtual agent was also integrated with a content management system for easy update and modification of intent responses by IDES staff and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs).


  • The state of Illinois anticipates an estimated annual savings of $100M
  • Over 5.8 million conversations have been handled by the virtual agent
  • Handle more than 140,000 phone and web inquiries per day
  • Phone virtual agent answers 40,000 after-hours calls per night
  • Pay unemployment benefits in a timely manner to 99.99% of claimants.
  • Seventy-five percent of claimants received their first payment within two weeks

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