SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD) — The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) has been awarded an additional $11.5 million by the U.S. Department of Labor to strengthen its unemployment insurance program.

An Illinois news release confirms the additional funds will support continued modernization of the program, as well as better fraud defense and better access to the program.

Previous funds have been used to focus on fraud prevention and equity-related projects. The end goal of the program is to make unemployment insurance information easier for people to understand by translating it into different languages expanding self-service digital options, and increasing outreach to community-level organizations.

“IDES remains fully committed to enhancing accessibility, improving the claimant experience, and strengthening the defense of the UI system, all of which are long-term projects supported by these grant awards,” said IDES Acting Director Ray Marchiori. “The Department is proud to be one of the grantees selected to receive these funds and will continue to leverage as much federal funding as possible to make critical modernization improvements in Illinois.”

The release said the state will receive about $30 million in total federal funds to strengthen the program.