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Illinois Appeals Process – What Happens When you’re Denied Benefits?

Last Verified: January 2017 “Our goal is to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information about your state’s unemployment rules. The date you see here reflects the most recent time we’ve verified this information with your state’s department.”

In the event that you are declined for benefits, you have the right to appeal the decision.  If you disagree with a Monetary Determination issue, you may request a redetermination. You should be able to show new information or why there was an error.

You may file an appeal to any decision by the IDES. You have 30 days from the mailing date on the Notice of Determination you receive to file your appeal to the Appeals Division.

Chicago Office:
IDES Appeals Division
33 S State St, 8th Floor
Chicago, IL 60603-2802
Springfield Office:
IDES Appeals Division
607 East Adams, 9th Floor
Springfield, IL  62701​

An Administrative Law Judge, the Hearing Referee, will hold an impartial hearing regarding your issue. Your former employer or any other party (like a claims examiner) will have the right to attend the hearing and present evidence. The Division will mail you a Notice of Telephone Hearing to tell you the date and time of your hearing and other important information.

Preparing for the Hearing

The appeals hearings are telephone hearings. You, the opposing party and the Referee will connect to a conference call (the referee will call you and connect you). You will receive the number to call in the notice.


You have the right to representation. The IDES offers free legal assistance for these hearings. Eligibility is economic need-based. If you wish to take advantage of this service, you must call and apply. You will find the numbers to call in the appeal brochure at the IDES site.

Of course, you have the right to represent yourself at the hearing. Many do this without difficulty. You may also ask a friend, or hire an attorney.

Other Issues

If you discover you have a scheduling conflict, you must notify the Division immediately. You must have a “substantial and compelling” reason to reschedule. The Referee will determine whether your reason meets this standard.

If you have other needs, like an interpreter or assistance for the hearing impaired, you must notify the Division prior to the hearing date.


You may present any evidence, including audio or video evidence, business documents or medical records. You must provide a copy of the evidence you want to show in the hearing to the opposing party AND the Referee prior to the hearing date. If you do not, the Referee may not allow you to present the evidence.

Any evidence you present should be directly related to your separation from work (if it is a separation issue). It should show what did or did not happen regarding you leaving work.


You may present a witness at the hearing. The witness should have first-hand knowledge regarding the issue tp be discussed (e.g., why you had to miss the last hearing, why you were fired).

At the Hearing

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. Do your best to be available when the Referee calls you. If you are unavailable, they may keep trying or they may move on with the hearing.

The Referee will swear in both parties and provide instructions for the hearing’s procedure. The hearing proceeds similar to a trial, but the rules are less formal.

The issue determines who goes first. The notice the IDES sends will tell you the issue to be addressed. If the issue is whether you quit, you will go first. If the issue is whether the employer discharged you for cause, the employer will go first.

Both parties will present testimony and evidence. Both parties will have the opportunity to question the other regarding their testimony. The Referee may ask questions at any time.

The Referee will try to give all parties a chance to state their position within a 30-minute period. However, hearings may run longer or shorter.

The Referee will issue a decision some time after the hearing is completed. If you disagree with the decision, you can appeal to the Board of Review

You can also appeal directly to the Board of Review. 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.


File an appeal:


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