Illinois Unemployment Information – Benefits, Eligibility etc.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) is responsible for handling unemployment claims and benefits throughout the entire state. The state funded unemployed insurance is meant strictly for individuals who are temporarily out of work due to qualifying circumstances. In order to apply for Illinois Seal of Illinoisunemployment benefits, you must meet certain criteria.


You may not be eligible under the following circumstances:

  • You were fired for misconduct
  • You quit your job by choice
  • You are missing work due to illness
  • You are not actively seeking work
  • You return to work
  • You refuse suitable work

In order to be eligible for Illinois unemployment benefits you must meet the following standards:

  • You must have earned enough wages in the past 18 months in order for IDES to determine a weekly benefits amount
  • You must be unemployed through no fault of your own. Qualifying circumstances include:
    1. Being laid off as a result of business closing, lack of hours
    2. Work hours cut below full time hours (not as a result of disciplinary action)

If you meet the above criteria, you may qualify to receive Illinois unemployment benefits and can start the application process.

How to Apply

In Illinois, you have a couple different options for applying for unemployment insurance. If you have internet access, the simplest way is to apply online at:

You must register to file online. If you have any questions in regards to applying online, you may call the IDES office at (800) 244-5631.

The other option you have is to visit an IDES office in person to apply. However, if you apply in person you can expect to wait in line. You can find the nearest IDES office using the office locater here: The office hours are Monday-Friday from 8:30AM-5:00 PM. In order to ensure prompt service, make sure to have the required information when you arrive. You will need:

  • Your name and SSN
  • Name, date of birth and SSN of any dependents you claim
  • Two forms of ID (one must have your SSN on it)
  • Name, address, phone numbers, and dates worked for all employers in the past 18 months. You will also need to state the reason why you are no longer working with these companies.
  • If filing for unemployment the same week your employment ended, you must provide your gross income for all days worked that week
  • Recently separated veterans must bring the Member 4 Copy of their DD form 214 / 215
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen you must have your alien registration card
  • If you are filing for unemployment benefits but live out of state, this link will be helpful:

Receiving your Benefits

If you have been approved to receive benefits, you should receive your first payment within 3 weeks of filing your claim. Your benefits can last for up to 26 weeks and the amount that you receive weekly will depend on your prior income. Illinois allows claimants to receive $51-$358 per week for benefits. If you have a spouse who is also not working, the weekly benefits amount can be up to $459 and up to $534 if you have children as dependents. Illinois only allows you to claim either a spouse or children as dependents, not both.

By default, IDES issues payments to a prepaid debit card. However, you also have the option of choosing direct depot which you can apply for after you’ve been approved for your benefits. You can apply for direct deposit here:

Certifying Weekly Benefits

In order to receive continuing benefits you must certify for benefits on a regular basis. IDES will let you know your certification date when they send your approval letter. Your certifications will be done every two weeks on the date that Illinois assigns you. If you fail to certify, you will not receive your payments. You can certify online or you may call in to certify.

Certifying Online:

Certify by phone: 1-888-337-7234. You may call to certify Monday-Friday from 5AM-7:30PM



In the event that you are declined for benefits, you have the right to appeal the decision. In order to appeal, you will have to complete the Request for Reconsideration of Claims Adjudicator’s Determination form and mail it to your nearest IDES offices within 30 days of receiving the decision. You must identify why you are seeking an appeal and present evidence to support your claim.

If your request for reconsideration is denied, an appeal will be sent to the Appeals office. Once they have reviewed your appeal you will receive a letter notifying you of your hearing date. In the event that you miss your hearing you have the ability to file for a rehearing within 10 days of the original date. You must have a reasonable explanation for why you missed the original date.

You can also appeal directly to the Board of Reviews. You can either write out an appeals letter or complete the APL124F: Notice of Appeal/Board of Review form. All appeals can be mailed to:

Board of Review

IDES Board of Review
33 S State St, 9th Floor
Chicago, IL 60603-2802

The last resort you have in appealing a decision is to file an appeal to the County Circuit Court within 35 days of receiving your decision.

Other Important Information

As with unemployment claims in other states, Illinois requires that you are actively seeking work while collecting unemployment. If it is found that you have not been attempting to find work, benefits can be ended. You must register for work through IDES as well.

Also, if you are working part time while receiving benefits you must report your earnings to IDES. Failing to do so is considered fraud and can result in:

  • Jail/Prison time
  • Governmental prosecution
  • Inability to receive benefits in the future
  • Penalties, Fines, and repayment of all benefits received
  • Losing your future income tax refunds


Helpful Resources

Here are some links that will be useful if you’re considering filing for Illinois unemployment.

IDES Official Site:

All IDES Contact Information

File an appeal:

Necessary Forms:

File for Benefits:


Phone: (800) 244-5631

Guide to Illinois Unemployment Insurance:

Find out Which Illinois Employers are having layoffs

Job Search and Training


  • Stormy

    Fired August 9 2016 due to a very strict attendance policy (I had to miss work because I was beat by 30+ hoodlums) and was in the hospital due to this. Filed for Unemployment in Illinois August28 2016. My claim was adjudicated then I had an interview September 19 2016 and submitted my medical papers as ordered and days later received all my unemployment payments at once. Now all the sudden I had an appealing hearing November 17 2016 which i rescheduled in the legal amount of time (ten days). It has been rescheduled for December 13 2016. My question is how can an emoloyer appeal after so many months? I thought they only had 30 days to do so? Also how can they appeal my claim when I submitted medical records supporting how I was beaten by a mob of hoodlum kids and IDES approved my payment? Would it benefit me to first challenege their appeal timing?

    • States give employers a lot of latitude on appeals b/c employers are paying for the unemployment benefit program. Some allow appeals a year after benefits have been paid. The timely filing of an appeal – in real life – only applies to claimant. Employers can do pretty much whatever the state allows – and in most states it’s a lot. Your medical records don’t prevent them filing yet another appeal. Many employers hire professional services such as TALX to keep appealing until they can’t. It’s a numbers game – they win some, they lose some. Whether or not you want to challenge the appeal on timing depends on their reason for their late filing. The states allow the flimsiest of excuses – like “I didn’t get a notice of the decision” – an outright lie, but usually that excuse is enough of a reason. You would have to prove they did get the notice, which you have no way of doing.

      • Stormy

        Can you give me some guidance on the best way to defend my benefits as they are appealing on grounds of attendane policy they have which is beyond reasonable but that is neither here or there all I know is I was beaten and car totaled by a mob of individuals and is was a situation I had no control over and I did my job to the best of my ability…..any and all help is super appreciated as I usually just work a job. This is totally all new to me and just dont want to get messed over because I didnt know something…..THANK YOU!!!!

        • You’ve already won – twice. Doesn’t matter what their policy is. The events were totally beyond your control. The evidence you have is sufficient. Don’t worry about it. Illinois will see right through them. They are only appealing for harassment.

  • Kenneth Nowak

    I filed, and was approved for benefits which I have been collecting for two months. After about 4 weeks I was sent a letter sayind that I would be getting a phone call for an appeal. I received that phone call, and the person asked me a few questions about why I was fired, or more to the point the reason the company said I was fired. I answered her questions, and she said I was still eligible to collect. About 3 more weeks went by and I received another letter from IDES, a notice of Reconsideration and Appeal. It says I will have another phone call and that my claim was appealed again. I am VERY nervous as I have not been able to find a job yet and do not want to lose my home and car. Is there something I need to do before this meeting? Get an attorney? And how would I find out if this second appeal was filed in a timely matter? Please help-thank you

    • Doesn’t matter if appeal was filed in timely manner. States rarely, almost never, deny an employer an appeal hearing – even a year after the fact. Hard to say if you need an atty. You don’t cite what employer is accusing you of or why they are contesting. They may have no grounds whatsoever, but some employers keep at it until they’ve exhausted all remedies.

  • Daynell

    Today I had a appeal hearing the company did not participate the judge asked a couple of questions not many and basically told me it looks good but I can’t give detail over the phone and wait for a letter in the mail. Is this a good sign I’ll be winning my case?

  • Andre Dixon

    I filed with IDES Nov. 6 2016 I was laid off Nov. 5 2016 I received 2 UI letters in the mail the first one denied my claim, the second one gave me the benefit amount. I have yet to receive a payment. then to make matters worse I called the 800 number and after being on hold for about 40 minutes I get an answer then the guy tell me to hold so after waiting 15 minutes the call was disconnected I called right back and they were closed. Very pissed!!!!!!

    • The notice of benefit amount does not mean approval, regardless that it arrived after the denial. The states often mail out notices of denial/benefit amount in reverse order which confuses people.

      On what basis were you denied? The letter must give a reason. Assume you were denied until you are told otherwise. IL also has offices you can visit. If you can’t get through on the phone, visit a local office.

      Or, email your state representative. State reps respond very quickly. Find yours, here:


      Four weeks after application should provide a better status of your situation than what you received so far. The rep will get Illnois moving.

  • Rich

    My 26 weeks of benefits recently ran out. When I certified online a few weeks back, the web site gave me my next certification date, so again I certified on that date, and then it still gave my next certification date. Do I need to keep certifying even though my benefits ran out?

  • Mary

    I am 63 years old and suffered a stroke in April 2016. I was paid for my unused vacation and personal days and did not return after 16 years. I filed for unemployment last week and was told I need a phone interview because my application stated I left voluntarily. I have tried to find work unsuccessfully. Will I qualify?

    • Medical reasons qualify as justifiable for a quit – but you must now be Able and Availabe to search for and accept work. You will need to provide proof of your medical issue at the time you quit and another statement from your doctor saying you are now fit for work. Otherwise, IL will grant the claim but not pay benefits until you are Able and Available.

  • Laura

    I have exhausted my 26 weeks of unemployments benefits. I have had some job interviews but no offers. Is there any provision for receiving an extension of benefits?

  • Kathryn

    If receiving benefits, but have a part-time job, and my pay went over the amount of my weekly benefit in that part-time position, I assumed I was done with Unemployment benefits, and if I needed them again I would have to file a new claim.
    However, a month has passed since I was not eligible for a benefit payment and my work hours decreased again. I went to ides to file a new online claim, and it says I already have an active claim in the system (it suggested I certify for benefits.) Do I need to just certify, or do I need to file a new claim? I haven’t certified for two periods because I thought I was done. Any help?

    • You are allowed one claim in any 52-week period. You cannot open a new claim at this time because the benefit year for your original claim has not yet expired. The current claim needs to be reopened. So, yes, resume certifying again. Assuming benefits under this claim have not been exhausted, IL will reopen the claim. IL may also require a nonmonetary interview before it resumes paying – i.e., investigate why you stopped claiming. IL will notify you if an interview is necessary.

  • jamal

    Did ides celebrate veterans day Friday or Monday? Will that push my money back a day I certified Monday and suppose to get it Wednesday.

  • Kim

    I am currently receiving unemployment. I worked one day as an election judge in Cook County. (Nov 8th). Do I need to show this as one day work?

  • Cindy Lynn

    My husband and I own an S Corporation. We have no work. Can we file for unemployment?

    • Did the S Corporation pay FUTA taxes on your W-2 wages to the State of Illinois for both of you? The answer to that should be a NO. Business owners – whether ICs, partners, shareholders – are ineligible for unemployment benefits – for obvious reasons – they can choose to work or not work.

  • Marie

    Hi i missed my phone interview to determine if im elgible i was able to reach the interviewer she called me back and stated she did call which i have records proving she did not but she stated that no interview was needed she just used the info i filled out to make a decision and i will recieve a letter in 3 to 5 business days until then continue to certify this was 3 days ago i checked my status online and it stated i could not certify yet that my first weeks of certifying was being processed. What does this mean does it mean im approved?

    • If there was an issue, she would have called. Sounds like an approval may be forthcoming. Fyi, generally, if employer cites misconduct or quit without cause, no matter what you say, you’ll be denied and need to appeal. So, interviews generally don’t accomplish much in those cases. If yours was a straight lay-off and employer said as much, there should not be a problem. Wait a few days. By Monday or Tuesday of next week you should have your answer.

      • Marie

        Ok thank you, i checked today and now it just tell me to certify on my designated day it no longer say in progress, and no i was fired but with no real explanation, never been wrote up, late never had a verbal or written warning was a top performer there, HR fired me not laid me off but gave me a letter stating that niether party wants to comment on any wrong doing and told me gp file for unemployment my hr rep suggested it. So if im approved when should i expect payment my phone interview was scheduled for nov 7

  • Maria

    Exhausted my 6 months of unemployment, worked at my company for 18yrs, am still unavailable to find a job. Could I file for a 2nd benefit year?

    • You cannot file another claim until the benefit year for the first claim has expired. If you filed in April/May 2016, you cannot file again until April/May 2017. Further, you will need to have worked and earned new income to qualify for a second benefit year – and will need to show new earnings in one quarter of at least $1,600 and $440 in the second quarter.

      Quarters remaining in your benefit year are quarters ending 12/31/2016 and 03/31/2017. So, try to find some holiday and other work for those periods. If you do, your second claim next year may be as good as your first due to the LAG (unused earnings) from the first claim.

      Chances are this LAG is close to six months’ earnings. This LAG is what will provide the REAL benefit – but it cannot be used if you don’t show new earnings during the current benefit year, so try to find some work.

      Good luck.

  • Nina

    I was laid off and began receiving unemployment benefits. Accepted a new position with a company, reported this to UI, benefits ended. This new position is not a fit. Can I reopen the claim with my previous employer and resume benefits?

    • If you quit, Illinois will want to know why. Illinois may reopen the claim if you can convince Illinois that the duties and skills do not match yours and the job was misrepresented to you. Illinois is fairly reasonable on that issue but will conduct an investigation, which means a delay in benefits. Depending on the interviewer, you may get a denial because of the quit and need to appeal.

  • Danyell

    I was fired the last week of September i filed for ui that next day, I had a phone interview on 10/7/2016 with ui still have not received a decision, whenever I call I’m told it’s till being processed, Is this normal?

  • Cynthia

    Pls can someone help me on this information, I am a U.S citizen but have been living abroad, I just returned back to the states with my child, I have no job yet even though I have been applying, I have never worked in the U.S., am I eligible to apply for unemployment benefit?

  • Tyler Nuckles

    I certified for two weeks worth of it and I’m new to unemployment stuff will I recurve benefits before the phone interview or after the interview I have a dependent child.

    • No benefits until after the interview, earliest. If IL hasn’t talked with your employer, it will wait another week or more. If still no employer response, IL may grant benefits – but suspend if employer responds late raising an eligibility issue. There is no one-size-fits-all in how soon or how long an approval will take.

  • Hi my name is Stephanie and I got fired Aug 9th 2016 and filed for unemployment…now I had a phone interview last week and I certify already for 2 weeks now and still haven’t received my money…how can I find out what is going on with my case…I haven’t received any letters…please help I’m a single mother of 3

  • LHMorrison

    I have started my 16th week of unemployment benefits after my job was eliminated.

    In week 14, I was paid for 8 hours of work when I was taking a test to see if I qualified for a part time job.

    In week 15, I was paid for 34 hours of training, to see if I qualify for the same part time job.

    If I get the job, it will run for 8 weeks, and i will make more than my unemployment benefits each of those weeks.

    However, I know that the job is ending after election day.

    is there a way to put my unemployment benefits on hold and start them up again after this part time job ends, if I don’t have a full time job then?

    • Stop claiming when you begin work. The claim will automatically close. When the job ends, you need to REOPEN the claim. Call Illinois to REOPEN or REOPEN the claim online if Illinois has that capability. Illinois will need to conduct an investigation of why the job ended before it resumes benefits.

  • Alice Monroe

    I am applying for benefits after being let go after 16 years. I have two minor children and would like to claim them as dependents. My husband collected benefits this year for about five months and he claimed the kids as dependents in his filing. Can I also claim my kids as dependents or, because my husband already claimed them this year, are they not eligible?

    • Has your husband exhausted his benefits or is there a balance remaining? If not, then you may not be able to claim a dependent benefit. By all means, however, try. IL may decide if husband is not currently drawing, you can claim the dependent benefits, instead.

  • Desperately wanting to know

    If you were living in another state (Iowa) and they denied you for your unemployment benefits but I currently live in Chicago, can i try to file unemployment here?????

    • No, you cannot file in Illinois unless you’ve recently lost employment in Illinois and have wages in the Illinois database. If you feel you have good cause for the job loss in Iowa, appeal the Iowa decision through the Iowa unemployment office – if you are still within the appeal timeframe.

  • Darnell Smith

    So if I missed my day of certifying when should I expect my funds??

  • Jim Bob

    I exhausted my benefits from one employer back in Feb 2016 after working for them for 20 years. I began working for a new employer in May 2016 and have been let go. Am I eligible again?

    • You now REOPEN the February claim and continue to collect benefits under that claim until exhausted. You probably have about 18-20 weeks remaining. You will not be eligible for another new claim until February 2017, when the benefit year of the current claim expires. Fortunately, you have now worked and you should have an excellent LAG (unused earnings) remaining from your first claim, so in February 2017, should you still be unemployed, you will qualify for a new claim almost as substantial as the one you have now.

  • Andrea Holt

    I certified already .. I just wanted to know how long would it take to approve me ?? .. And where is my money ??

    • Length of time to approval can be as quick as three weeks, as long as a couple of months. It depends on the circumstances of your separation. If employer cites misconduct, or you quit, Illinois will investigate – which means you are interviewed several weeks or longer after you apply – which extends the length of time before you can be approved.

  • Shannon

    How many dependents can you claim? When I filed my claim over the phone she only asked for information on my youngest daughter but I have three total daughters all under 18. Am I suppose to get extra pay on my unemployment payments for for only one child or should I be getting extra pay for all three of my dependents (daughters)


  • Rick P

    I worked 2 jobs. My full time job closed the office I was working in. My part time job I quit to move back to Texas. I have been denied benefits because I quit my part time job. Will an appeal be the only recourse? The 800 number is a joke. Over being on hold for more than 40 mins only to be told the same info I already know. They will provide no assistance. I have been hung up on just trying to find out why the 800 number is my only connection. Illinois sucks

    • Appeal is the only recourse if you’ve been denied. That said, you can appeal, but you won’t win. Your timing was wrong. You should have quit the part-time job a few months before losing the full-time job. Moving to another state is not good cause for a quit in Illinois unless you are following a spouse who has taken a job in another state.

  • Tonya

    I was on FMLA my employer gave my job to a fellow co-worker, told me I could take another position at the same pay got 2 of my doctors to release me then they told me I needed to go to their doctor so I did he released me but then when I called no one would answer my call so I could be put back on the schedule. I applied for UI which has been denied because employer states i resigned which is not true. How do I prove I didn’t resign?

    • First, file an appeal request. Then, list in chronological order the exact sequence of events, and assemble any and all paperwork, including emails, you have on your FMLA, including any phone logs of attempts to reach your employer. Present this evidence at your appeal hearing. Your situation is very common for those on FMLA – a discharge at the end of FMLA, with the employer citing a quit. Illinois has heard this story, before.

  • Elizabeth Medina

    Unemployment Insurance Benefits Denied?

    Was a question raised regarding your eligibility for benefits? Is your former employer fighting your unemployment insurance claim? Are you looking to appeal and receive the benefits you deserve? If so, then can help!

    I’m a paralegal who is eligible, by state law, to represent an individual or entity in any proceeding before the Director, referee or board of review (see 820 ILCS 405/806 of the Unemployment Insurance Act). I can not only help you fill out appeal forms or fill them out for you, but I can also help you understand the appeal process and even represent you at your appeal hearing in front of the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).

    I have won simple and complex appeals for myself in the past and am extremely confident I can help win yours and I’ll charge you a fraction of what an employment attorney would charge you.

    Free initial half hour consultation. Call me today at (847) 293-7044 or drop me an E-Mail at [email protected]. Serving a claimants in the following counties: Lake, Cook, McHenry, DuPage

    • SD


      I would like to know if I can file an appeal after the deadline. I was unable to file an appeal due to depression from my daughter being suicidal and other family issues.

  • J. Vel.

    I registered and put three dependents (my kids). I got a letter approving unemployment, but nothing for dependents. When I registered online, it said dependent pay is $100. I have been trying to call, but it says high call volume, try again later. Will a separate letter come, or have my dependents been denied? Please communicate. Thanks.

    • If your online status indicates a dependent payments, your dependents have been approved. Illinois may or may not send a followup letter on that issue. For now, go with what you are told online.

  • Kat

    I applied online 12/17/15. .Laid off 12/15/15. .I applied online, received UI Finding letter. Is this approved? It says certify 1/5/16. .Do I get benefits for 3 weeks? Cannot get through to them via phone. Thanks

    • No, a UI Finding letter is NOT an approval. It is merely a notice of what your weekly benefit will be if you are approved. Keep claiming. If there are no issues, you may very well find money on your card or in your account before you receive a formal approval notice – or your online status may notify you, as well.

  • Jacki

    i got my card about 4 days ago and activated it zero balance too. illinois says it will take up to 72 hrs after u get ur card and certify it has been 240 hrs for me where is the money???

    • Your card will not show a balance until your claim has been approved and Illinois authorizes payment of these benefits. Receipt of the card and notice of benefit award are NOT approvals. Normally, if you’ve been submitting claims, it takes at the very minimum three weeks before monies appear on the card – and that is if yours is a clean discharge with no issues. If Illinois needs to investigate the separation, it could take many more weeks before payment is made.

  • I’ve received my Chase Debit Card from the State of Illness. I activated it as required, and the card showed a zero balance. How can it be zero when I just got the card. I tried calling all the numbers associated with he card, and I couldn’t get through, and no live people to speak to. Is there any adult supervision in the State of Illness? No I didn’t misspell Illinois, it is a State full of Ill politicians who haven’t a clue about the problems in their system.

    • Tonya

      I just got mine today. Activated it. Zero balance also

      • Ben Bradley

        I have been approved for benefits for over a month. I have been emailed, called, harrassed, called a liar, and flat out been shown the door by the people at the Lawrence street office. I am owed over $2000 for a wrongful termination. NADA ZERO YOURE [email protected] PEOPLE ABSOLUTELY CUCKOLD [email protected]

        • @ben -your card will not show a balance until your claim has been approved and Illinois authorizes payment of these benefits. Receipt of the card and notice of benefit award are NOT approvals. Normally, if you’ve been submitting claims, it takes at the very minimum three weeks before monies appear on the card – and that is if yours is a clean discharge with no issues. Sounds like you may have issues with your discharge, in which case it could take much longer before Illinois approves the claim.

      • @Tonya – again, your card will not show a balance until your claim has been approved and Illinois authorizes payment of these benefits. Receipt of the card and notice of benefit award are NOT approvals. Normally, if you’ve been submitting claims, it takes at the very minimum three weeks before monies appear on the card – and that is if yours is a clean discharge with no issues. If Illinois needs to investigate the separation, it could take many more weeks before payment is made.

    • Dillon

      Same situation and I applaud this post

      • @dillon – your card will not show a balance until your claim has been approved and Illinois authorizes payment of these benefits. Receipt of the card and notice of benefit award are NOT approvals. Normally, if you’ve been submitting claims, it takes at the very minimum three weeks before monies appear on the card – and that is if yours is a clean discharge with no issues. If Illinois needs to investigate the separation, it could take many more weeks before payment is made.

    • @william – your card will not show a balance until your claim has been approved and Illinois authorizes payment of these benefits. Receipt of the card and notice of benefit award are NOT approvals. Normally, if you’ve been submitting claims, it takes at the very minimum three weeks before monies appear on the card – and that is if yours is a clean discharge with no issues. If Illinois needs to investigate the separation, it could take many more weeks before payment is made.

  • Mike h

    Im trying to just Register.Every time i do It says cant complete Registration.I call that number and its busy ….Help?

  • Todd Lichtenwalter

    I’m about to lose my job plant is closing. I’m waiting to go to college can I able to receive unemployment pay still?

    • You will need to get Illinois’ approval for your class schedule. You need to assure Illinois that you are Able and Available to work – i.e., you are continuing a work search and will accept suitable full-time work if offered and that you would be willing to drop out of school or adjust your class schedule to accommodate suitable employment.

  • I will soon need to file for unemployment but I will also be receiving 5 weeks vacation at the end of my work schedule in one lump sum. How will this affect my unemployment and can I specify the start day of unemployment benefits?

    • Just apply for the claim, report the vacation pay when you receive it and for the period to which it applies. Under normal circumstances, vacation pay which was earned prior to layoff will not affect your benefits. In other words, you will experience a the normal Illinois unpaid waiting week. Benefits should be payable beginning the second week after layoff.

  • I was wondering if I can file for the summer? I work very part time for a school district as a crossing guard. Please let me know, thanks.

    • Seasonal school employees usually have problems because summers off is part of the employment contract. You can file, but chances are your School District will object. They usually do. You might get around this if you do not have a contract to return in the fall. That said, you have only a 50% chance of approval, if that. But, by all means, try.

  • I live in Iowa, I have wages in Iowa and Wisconsin. I recently had a job in Illinois and he didn’t file a W-2 because I was under the amount. I was let go from that employer. How do I file for unemployment benefits and in what state?

    • File for benefits in Iowa – which pays substantially more than Wisconsin. Request a combine-wage claim to include the Wisconsin wages. Iowa will investigate the circumstances of your job losses in Illinois, Iowa and WI – even though Illinois wages may not appear in any database.

  • Recently my employer cut my hours from 14 to 10 I have worked for a year. May I apply for supplement benefits?

    • You can apply for partial benefits. See page 21, here:

      for how Illinois calculates benefits. You would need to know your regular weekly benefit in order to do a correct calculation. Generally, your Weekly Benefit Amount in Illinois is 47% of the total of your 2 high quarters in the base period divided by 26.

      If you work while collecting benefits, Illinois grosses up that benefit 50% from which it would deduct your reduced earnings and pay you the difference.


      $100 – Weekly benefit Amount
      $150 – Partial Benefit Amount (WBA + 50%)
      $-75 – Less: Your gross (b/4 deductions) weekly earnings
      $x75 – Benefit paid by Illinois

  • where can i get a copy of my w2’s

  • Need to apply for second benefit year

  • For two days the Illinois Department of Employment Services line has been busy and my DP is two days late even after certifying on my day on time. Is there some sort of issue with payments going through in IL because for two days it says that they have been processing my benefits… This is concerning because I am no where near 26 weeks I was approved for…

    • Illinois is most likely undergoing technology issues – or it may be experiencing lack of funds to pay benefits. Lack of funds does happen in the states from time to time. Illinois has budget issues. This could be a reason for the delay.

  • Hello I ask if I can apply for Unemployment but , i quit from my job and I will move to another state because of my father i take care of him he is disable so can i apply for it

    • Yes, a quit to care for an ill parent is good cause, and Illinois will grant a claim. However, in order for Illinois to pay benefits and for you to collect benefits you still need to be Able and Available to to search for and accept work at your new location.


  • i was a caregiven for my dad from march 12-2012 to april 13-2014 my dad die i need your help i have bills to pay i miss my dad i have my mom she is 84 my home nub is 847-455-7643 help me

    • You need to call Illinois Social Services for help. Unless you were employed by an agency which paid FUTA taxes for unemployment benefits, you would not be eligible for unemployment benefits, but there might be other welfare benefits available.

  • I was approved for benefits since oct 2013 till oct 2014 and now have recieved a letter about the employer filing an appeal.. I don’t understand this.. Is that possible after being approved already?

    • Yes, employers often contest a claim, long after it has been approved and benefits paid. The reason for this is they’ve received a notice of increase in their UI FUTA taxes. This increase is based on their claim history. For this reason, many employers make it a practice to contest any and all claims – even a year later. Some states allow it, others don’t.

  • i missed my phone hearing due to phone complications have tried to contact office by phone but have been unsuccessful. I need to know how do I go by rescheduling my phone hearing if possible or do I have to recertify and start all over. please help i learning the online process on my own.

    • No, if you’ve already opened a claim, don’t try to do so again. The system won’t let you. Illinois is investigating the circumstances of your job loss. First step is the interview. If no interview is held, Illinois will eventually make a determination on the best available information. If their decision is not favorable, then you will need to appeal.

  • I went out of country on emergency basis to see my father as he was on deathbed and I could not inform unemployment office n I calimed already when I was leaving but I didnt receive any thing n now I am back n I got some letter from unemployment office saying there was an interview secduled for me n I didnt attended.I dont know how to go n what to do.

    • You call Illinois and set up another interview. If you claimed before you left the country, you should not have a problem being paid once you’ve cleared up Illinois’ questions. The interview is probably unrelated to that trip. If, however, you attempted to claim outside the US, you will need to prove to Illinois that you were in the US the entire week for which you claimed benefits.

  • I went to apply for ides and talk to them on the phone,and they said they was going to call me at a certain time and never did.i havent even got a letter!

    • This is a common occurrence. Chances are IDES will call you another time. It may also be IDES has determined it doesn’t need an interview. Watch your mail. You may be receiving something shortly.

  • Last week on Wednesday 12/11/13, I certified for benefits, but none came to my account. Where do I contact to find out why I did not receive anything?

  • I am still employed with DHS but, I haven’t had a client since May 01, 2013. I’m trying to start my unemployment benefits. On the unemployment site it says that I am already in

  • Certified for my benefits on Tuesday 11/27/13 I was to receive my benefits on Thursdsy 11/28/13.However because of the Thanksgiving holiday it should have posted today Friday,11/29/13.What is the problem now need my benefits today not next week?

    • Banks do not update their systems the night of a holiday. Further, the day after Thanksgiving is also often a holiday. Earliest you might see a payment will be the Monday after the holiday.

      • Angel

        Will the payment still show in the view detail payment history section on the ides account. I certified on 11/23 and usually my payment will show it will post at midnight in the view payment history section. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and the office is closed. I just really need to know if I’ll receive my benefits.

  • Signed up for benefits over 3 weeks , my claim was approved. But I have not received my check. When will I get it? Please reply.

    • Are you sure your claim was approved? You may have received a notice of benefit award, but that does not mean an approval. Approval within three weeks is very fast. Normally, Illinois needs to contact your employer, wait for a response. Continue to claim. Further, Illinois is no longer paying by check. It is using direct deposit to your bank account or will pay via debit card.

  • My unemployment benefits expired on Oct 23rd 2013, I was able to certify on Monday of this week. I didn’t receive my last check so now I’m uncertain about what I need to do.

    • That date isn’t correct. October 23, 2013 is a Wednesday. In most states, unemployment benefit years expire at the end of a 7-day week, on a Saturday. Your claim has expired on October 12th or October 19th. Check your claim information.

  • I have recived a notice of possible Ineligibility the day after the day I was given to call. I have tryed and tryed to call with no luck getting through. I have paid into the system for 45 years and now that i need help i cant get any. CAN ANYONE HELP?????

    • emsteger

      Only employers pay into the unemployment fund. EMPLOYEES never contribute any money for unemployment benefits. You paid plenty of taxes over 45 years but not for these benefits……

    • @charles – a notice of possible ineligibility doesn’t mean anything unless you are told why. There could be many reasons for this, your employer reported wages to another state, Illinois database is not up to date, you are working for a nonprofit. Generally, when there are questions, Illinois will set up a time for an interview. Fyi, in Illinois you are not paying FUTA tax for unemployment benefits. Only employers pay this tax.

      If you remain unable to get through, contact your state representative. Often that’s all that’s needed to get Illinois to respond. Find your state legislator, here:

  • I need to know how to get my paychecks from unemployment in Chicago IL. I was at there office for 6 1/2 hrs.I had to leave I had to pic up my daughter. I think its crazy someone has to wait for that long.

    • You shouldn’t ever need to visit an office to pick up a “check.” Illinois does not pay unemployment benefits by check. Per the Illinois website:

      “All claimants are defaulted to the debit card payment method until you enroll in direct deposit (online only). ”

      You should have received a debit card in the mail.


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