Illinois Unemployment Benefits
The state of Illinois has laid down certain conditions that prospective applicants need to fulfill in order to gain eligibility to obtain unemployment benefits in Illinois. These conditions are designed to take into account the recent work history of the applicant.
The eligibility conditions also include the amount of money that the applicant earned in a given time period and identifying the reason for separation from his/her previous employment. The criteria that the applicants need to fulfill are the following.
There are certain monetary conditions that applicants need to fulfill in order to qualify for unemployment benefits in the state of Illinois. The first four quarters of the previous five quarters preceding the applicant’s benefit year is considered as the regular base period.
For instance – if your benefit period starts from January 2019, your base period will be from October 2017 to September 2018. To know more. Check out the base period calculator.
In the base year, the applicant is expected to earn at least $1600 during the period, and a minimum of $440 outside the highest-earning base period quarter. If you fail to gain eligibility under the regular base period condition, you may verify under the alternative base period condition.
The alternative base period consists of four of the five most recently completed quarters. It must, however, be noted that the alternative base period can only be applied if the applicant is not monetarily eligible under the regular base period.
Once the monetary eligibility is established, the applicant must then explain the reason for separation from his/her previous organization. The state of Illinois has set certain parameters to make sure that the applicants have lost the job due to no fault of their own. Below are some of the acceptable reasons for job separations that would be considered for unemployment benefits in Illinois:
- The applicant did not quit the job in the previous organization voluntarily
- The applicant was laid-off or discharged from the previous organization for no fault of theirs
- The applicant was not asked to leave due to misconduct or participating in illegal activities
- Applicant separated from the previous organization as he/she had to endure health complications, sexual harassment or domestic violence
- The applicant had to accompany a military spouse or a spouse who relocated due to employment
The eligibility factor will not cease to feature once the application for weekly benefits is approved. The onus lies upon the claimant to continue to maintain eligibility throughout the benefit period.
To make that you receive the benefits without any hassles, make sure to keep up with the points mentioned below:
- Make sure to file the claim weekly at the scheduled time through the Tele-Service system or online. Failing to do so may lead to discontinuation of benefits
- Make sure you are available for work throughout the benefit period. This means you are not sick, retired, or on a vacation during the benefit period
- Make sure you are actively looking for work. In order to establish that you are pursuing opportunities, you make have to periodically inform IDES about – (i) What are you doing to find work?; (ii) The nature of work you are looking for; and (iii) Your chances of being hired in the week. Failing to do so would lead to stoppage of the benefits
- Make sure to accept the job offers made to you. If you reject any job offers without an acceptable cause, the benefits given to you will be stopped. Consult IDES to make sure that your reason to reject a job offer falls is ‘acceptable’ before rejecting the offer
- Report any other source of income you are or may receive in the course of the benefit period
- Make sure to complete the registration process at www.IllinoisJobLink.com to connect with prospective employers. Insurance Benefits will not be paid if you fail to register in the Illinois JobLink website
How to Apply?
In the state of Illinois, it is necessary to obtain the following information prior to filing an application for benefits. The list of information includes:
- You must have your social security number, without which your claim for benefits will not be processed in the state of Illinois
- You must also compulsorily submit the social security number of dependants that are included in the claim
- You will need to furnish either your driver’s license or state ID
- Name, phone number, address, date of employment and the reason for separation for all the employers that worked for in the last 18 months must be presented
- You must submit the W-2 form/check-stubs from these employers
- Recently separated veterans will have to submit the Member 4 Copy of the DD form 214 / 215
- If you receive a pension, you must submit the details relating to it. (This is not applicable for social security)
- Standard Form 8 and Personnel Action Form 50 must be submitted if you are separated from work as a civilian employee of the federal government
Once you obtain all the required documents, you could either log on to the IDES website to file your claim over the internet or call the Tele-Serve line to file the claim over a telephone call.
Filing a claim for unemployment benefits in Illinois over the internet is the most convenient way to register. Log on to the IDES website – https://benefits.ides.illinois.gov/Benefits/Filemyclaim and fill in all the required details to get the process started.
The applicant can also file claims through telephone calls in the state of Illinois. The applicants can reach the Tele-Serve line on – (312) 338-4337. The lines will be open from 5:00 AM to 7:30 PM from Monday to Friday.
UI Benefit Amount
The unemployment benefits program in Illinois is a federal-center program, designed to provide temporary monetary benefits to the eligible applicants. The following UI Benefits Calculator will help you to determine the approximate UI Benefits amount that you may receive in illinois.
Use the calculator to find out how much weekly benefits you may approximately earn in the state of Alabama.
Things to Know After Filing An Application
Once the process of filing the claim for UI benefits is completed the responsibilities of the claimants will not end. Claimants must adhere to all the rules and regulations until the end of the benefit period to make sure that their benefits are not canceled at any point in time.
To make sure that they experience no hurdles, all claimants must be aware of certain rules that will have an impact on their benefit period. Also, the claimants would do well to know more about the training and personal development offered by IDES which will help be more competent in the job market.
Overpayments and Collections
Overpayments occur when you receive benefits that you are not entitled to. In the event, if IDES concludes that you have received an overpayment, which will appear on the Notice of Reconsideration and Recoupment Decision.
As per section 900 of the Illinois Unemployment Act, the amount that is deemed an overpayment must be paid back entirely to the Illinois Department of Employment Security. To pay your overpayment dues, write your check to the following address:
“Director Of Employment Security – Benefit Account”
Include your name, complete address and ID/Social Security number on your check or money order and mail your payment to:
Illinois Department of Employment Security
28542 Network Place
Chicago, Illinois 60673-1285
You could also pay the dues by phone using a credit card by calling 1- (877) 820-9155. To use this feature, you must make sure that the credit card is issued in your name. If you are unable to pay the whole amount at one go, you may get into a monthly installment plan.
Overpayments are divided into types in the state of Illinois – Non-fraud overpayment and Fraud overpayment.
A non-fraud overpayment occurs when the claimants receive an excessive payment without the intention to do so. This may occur due to in the form of reversing an appeal decision or readjustment of benefit amount given to the claimant.
If a claimant receives an overpayment while knowing fully well that he/she is not eligible to receive the excessive amount, such transaction will be declared as a fraud overpayment.
The state of Illinois considers the following acts as a fraud:
- Receiving benefits by knowingly making a false statement
- Submitting false documents to influence the selection process
- Failing to disclose relevant documents for the purpose of obtaining UI benefits
- Making misleading or false claims on the work search requirement
- Making misleading/false claims on the wages earned during the base period
This overpayment may be offset by 100% by the state of Illinois Comptroller from any future amount owed to you by the state. An unpaid amount of fraud overpayment will remain collectible on your record indefinitely.
Fraud overpayment may result in criminal prosecution under the State Benefits Fraud and Perjury Laws of the state of Illinois. This may also allow the state to file a suit against you in a court of law to recover the dues.
There are no extension programs functional in the state of Illinois right now. The applicant can also visit Illinois’s IDES website to determine the current available Reemployment Assistance plans.
Job Training Assistance
Illinois workNet provides an array of training and development opportunities to the applicants from the state. The illinoisworknet website offers tools to learn about different types of degree programs, education programs, and other micro-credential programs.
The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (IDCEO) lends support to job seekers through its 22 Local Workforce Innovation Areas spread across the state. The IDCEO helps in coordinating and promoting initiatives that are designed to help applicants overcome their skill deficiency.
IDECO builds and expands partnerships that engage businesses, other state agencies, educators, local governments, and economic development partners. This is done to ensure that career approach to education and workforce development of the applicants turns out to be successful.
Additional programs and services handled by IDCEO include Accelerated Training for Illinois Manufacturing (ATIM), the Trade Act Program, disabilityworks®, and Illinois workNet® Centers.
The Illinois Department of Commerce also runs the federally funded programs such as Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). These programs provide on-the-job training to hire and train employees, customized classroom training to help train and retain employees, and incumbent worker training to upgrade the skills of existing employees.