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Illinois Unemployment Application

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Illinois IDES Office Locations

Applying for Unemployment in Illinois

If you are an Illinois resident and have become unemployed through no fault of your own, you should apply for unemployment benefits as quickly as possible. As a general rule, it’s best to file within the first week after you have lost your job. The state of Illinois makes it easy for you to submit an initial claim either in person or via its online portal, which features easy-to-follow instructions. Before you start, make sure you’re familiar with all the documentation you’ll need and make a plan for how you’ll submit your unemployment benefits claim.

Before Applying for Illinois Unemployment Benefits

Before you submit your initial claim for Illinois unemployment benefits, it’s important to understand the rules and guidelines, which can help you be more successful with your claim.

First, make sure you accurately report the reason for your separation from employment. Also, make sure you report all earnings, including part-time or temporary work. This includes income from all employers you worked for over the last 18 months before you filed your initial claim.

Make sure to file your initial claim yourself. While it may seem intimidating, you can quickly and smoothly submit your claim if you collect all the right documentation in advance. Paying someone else to make a claim on your behalf is a big risk – there are, unfortunately, many who would simply take your money without filing the claim on your behalf. At that point, they also have your personal information and can make a fraudulent claim using your identity. IDES will never ask for money in exchange for helping you with your claim.

And, finally, make sure the information you report is accurate. Don’t falsify any information on your unemployment claim – this constitutes unemployment fraud, which is a serious issue with grave consequences in Illinois.

Information Needed to Apply for Illinois Unemployment Benefits

When you submit your claim for Illinois unemployment benefits, you’ll need several key pieces of information, including:

  • Your Social Security number
  • Your driver’s license – or other issued state identification card
  • The Social Security number, birthdate and name of any dependent you are claiming
  • The name, address, telephone number, dates of employment and reason for separation for all employers you worked for within the last 18 months. Please note that certain wage records, such as W-2 forms or check stubs also may be requested.
  • Any wages earned if you’ve been paid for any type of work since the Sunday of the week in which you filed your claim.
  • Documentation of any pension payments you currently receive, except for any Social Security payments
  • Alien Registration Information if you are not a U.S. citizen
  • Member 4 Copy of the DD form 214 / 21 if you are a U.S. veteran who has recently separated from service
  • Copies of the Standard Form 8 and Personnel Action Form 50 if you are separated from civilian service to the U.S. government

About Gross Wages:

  • Gross wages are the amount earned before any deductions, not “take home pay”.
  • You must report all gross wages for any work performed, full or part-time. Wages in the form of lodging, meals, merchandise or any other form should be included.
  • Gross wages must be reported the week in which they are earned, not the week in which you receive the wages.
  • If your gross wages earned in any week are less than your weekly benefit amount, you still may be eligible to receive a full or partial benefit payment.

How To Apply for Illinois Unemployment Benefits

Ways To Claim Benefits –

  • Apply Online: This the fastest and easiest way to claim Unemployment Insurance. Establish a username and password to begin your claim. Write down your log-in information for future reference. Keeping information and paper work handy will help you file within 30 to 45 minutes.
  • File over the Phone: Call IDES at (800) 244-5631 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except for state holidays. Hearing-impaired applicants can call (866) 322-8357.
  • Visit your Local IDES Office: Find the nearest IDES office and submit your claim in-person. Expect to wait in line and be sure to bring the required documents. Regular office hours are 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday, except State holidays.

The best way to apply for Illinois unemployment benefits is through the Illinois online portal – the Illinois Benefits Information System (IBIS). If you prefer to apply in person, that option is available, but you must make an appointment by phone in advance. You may do so by reaching out to the Scheduling Hotline at 217-558-0401.

Though you may submit your weekly certifications by phone if that’s the best option for you, your initial claim must be submitted either in person or through IBIS, which requires the creation of an ILogin account.

How To Create Your ILogin Account

Your ILogin account will allow you to access your IBIS portal, which is your one-stop shop for all things related to your Illinois unemployment claim. Using this portal, you may check the status of your claim, update payment methods, access tax documents and more Basically, ILogin is an identity verification system integrated with the Illinois Department of Employment Security’s (IDES) unemployment benefits application (IBIS), which allows you a secure and simple login process.

The ILogin platform uses cutting-edge cyber-security systems to protect your valuable data – this includes identity proofing, strong authentication, fraud-detection analytics, and constant threat monitoring. The first time you access the ILogin system, you will be required to submit a brief registration form.

All Illinois unemployment claimants are required to create an ILogin account, even those who are existing claimants. When registering within the system for the first time, you will need to complete a few additional one-time steps to validate your identity. Once you have created an ILogin account, you will be able to access it for additional Illinois services and on some federal sites as well.

Claiming Dependents on your Illinois UI Application

If you have a spouse or child that you need to claim as dependents on your UI benefits claim, you have some options for doing so. You may claim a spouse as a dependent if they don’t earn enough to qualify for UI benefits on their own and if you were responsible for more than half of their financial support for at least 90 days before the first day of each week for which you file a UI benefits claim.

There are a couple of caveats to be aware of: First, if you got married less than 90 days before the first day of a benefit week, you may add your spouse as a dependent only if they do not earn enough to qualify for benefits on their own, and you have provided more than half of their support since the date you got married.

You also may add a dependent child if all of several possible situations are true. First, no one else has named the child as a dependent during the past year. In addition, the child you’re claiming cannot be a member of a family in which another child already has been claimed as a dependent by the other parent.

Next, the dependent child must be younger than 18 years old, or, if the child is older, they have been unable to work because of an illness or other disability during the 90 days prior to the first day of each week for which you file a benefits claim. Your dependent child also must be your biological child, stepchild or adopted child – or otherwise be named as in your custody by a formal court order.

In order to claim a child as a dependent, you must have provided more than half of the child’s financial support for the 90 days prior to the first day of each week for which you file a benefits claim – or for the duration of the relationship if it has existed for fewer than 90 days. Another eligible option is if you provided at least a quarter of the child’s financial support if you and your spouse together provided more than half the child’s financial support and were members of the same household.

It’s important to note that you are not allowed to claim both a dependent spouse and a dependent child at the same time.

IDES Finding Letter

Once you’ve filed your claim for unemployment benefits, you’ll receive from the Illinois Department of Employment Services a formal statement known as the UI Finding. Within this statement, you’ll find the determination of whether you are eligible for benefits, along with your weekly benefit amount, plus any appropriate dependent allowances. In addition, your letter will summarize the first date you need to submit a weekly certification, and the amount of income you earned from all employers during your base period, broken down by quarter. You will need to register with IDES as part of the Illinois work search requirement.

Your UI finding should list the date you filed your claim and the dates on which your benefit year begins and ends. It should also include your maximum benefit balance.

If this finding matches your expectations and names a benefit amount in alignment with what you were expecting, you need to do nothing at this point except continue to certify and collect your benefits. The Illinois unemployment calculator can help you estimate what your weekly benefit amount should be so that you have some idea of what to expect.

If there are any errors in your UI finding, you should notify the IDES as soon as possible. You may need to file an appeal so that your claim can be reviewed a second time.

More on Illinois Unemployment
Want to know how much you will receive as unemployment benefits? Calculate Illinois UI Benefits
Got questions? Here is our Q&A Section
Determine your eligibility to receive unemployment benefits in the state of Illinois –> Check Eligibility

  1. I accidentally entered 2020 as my year of birth and included my SSN and DL #. Now I am unable to correct and move forward with completing the application. I received an error message regarding the birth date but an unable to correct. Any ideas? Are they accepting paper applications and if so, where to retrieve it? I searched the web for assistance but all I can find is how to file on line. And naturally am unable to reach a representative for assistance.

    • Im having an issue when Im putting in my work information it says that I cant work before my birth date. SO im guessing when i filled out the registration to get my username the wrong year got entered. I can not find a way back to this screen and have been stuck for over two weeks. Please any help is greatly appreciated.

      • Nikki,

        Please try finding answers online since there might be limited phone support due to the shortage of staffing. You can use the “Resources” or “FAQs” section of the website.

  2. I turned in a one week notice to my employer on 10/26/18. Four days later I changed my mind and asked my GM to stay at my job. She told me she could probably retract it and reenter me on the system, but she didn’t have time to talk to me that day. She said she would talk to me the next day. Long story short, she said she couldn’t keep me because she had hired someone the day after my notice and there wasn’t anything else I could do when I asked. This is a McDonalds with signs in the windows stating they are having open interviews weekly and have been for some time. I have worked there for almost 14 1/2 years. What’s the deal? I think it’s because I made about $2. more an hour than minimum wage in the state of IL. Can I file for unemployment?

  3. I’m a Hospice cna hired full time, been employed since 4/8/2017. Since August of 2018 our census has been really low, I’m currently receiving 10-20 hours a week. My fear is that if I apply for unemployment my company will find a reason to fire me?

    • I don’t think that should be a problem. As a citizen, it’s your legal right to claim UI benefits based on the eligibility. Please speak to the Unemployment Office in your state and apply accordingly.

    • The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  4. What does adjudicator determination and the trade act of 1974 mean I was denied and that was the reasons they gave me why

    • Determination by the Adjudicator means that your claim was escalated to an Appeals team due to a conflict or a dispute.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for further details in this regard.

  5. how do I find the resumes of candidate who are looking for jobs in Logistics and freight forwarding field, can send me the link where I can find right candidate

    • Please note this website deals exclusively with Unemployment Insurance benefits. Please check on other competitive websites for your requirement or visit the Labor Office for assistance.

  6. when trying to apply online for benefits I too am being redirected to a credit score site that wants me to pay for a credit score and will not take me to the application unless I signup for it first and then it sends me auto emails to complete it and warns if I don’t I risk the opportunity to get benefits, I believe this is a scam and unfair. Is there another direct site I can use to apply online?

  7. I think its very shady this site keeps redirecting me to apply for my credit score by entering credit card information. I do not need to check my credit score. I should not have to call them to cancel and if I don’t I will be automatically charged. I know my score.

  8. I want to add to the previous statement.I owe IDES money because I was over paid by them years ago and they take my tax refund if I have one . If I was fired and qualify will I still be able to collect benefits?

  9. if I lost my job and was overpaid and owe money to them, will I still receive benefits ? They take my tax refund every year also

    • If you owe money to the Unemployment Authorities, you will not receive any.

      Please call them for precise information.

  10. I live in California, however paid Illinois state taxes. I do not see where my employer paid Unemployment taxes or insurance taken from my check stub. I am not a 1099 employee, does this mean I am not eligible for unemployment benefits because I don’t see FUTA or SUTA being taken out of my pay check?

    • You may not be eligible to receive unemployment benefits.

      Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state.

    • Independent contractors are not eligible in most of the states.

      Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state.

  11. I was told I can resign from my job or be fired over a argument so I resigned so it’d look better when I apply for jobs

  12. I want to apply for Unemployment Benefits. I feel the ex-employer will fight paying. Is it important to use the correct words/language in my appliction & subsequent communications? I am finding very vague info on internet!

    • Please provide more details surrounding your question. If there is a dispute and wrongfully denied,you can always appeal.

  13. Over the past several years my company has cut my pay and hours and has been struggling for years. Recently the CEO left and there is now talk that he have stolen money from the company and essentially stolen money from the employees when he cut our pay – I’ve had to cut my hours down to save on daycare costs and have had to alter my entire live for me and my two kids. The company is in huge trouble and I’m caught between a rock and a hard place. Can I give my notice and collect unemployment? It’s to the point where working is just as bad as not. Also, if your on unemployment and you want to go to school does that hurt you in any way with regards to being able and willing to work?

    Thank you.

    • I can understand your plight. Unfortunately,the UI system does not consider these aspects.

      Go ahead and contact the labor dept in your state and consult them before deciding to move out.

  14. I have filed for unemployment on 6-3-2014 have not heard anything either from unemployment or past employer

  15. I have filed for unemployment on 6-3-2014 have not heard anything from either the unemployment office or past employer

  16. I have been laid off from my full-time office job I have been working at for the last six months. I also was a substitute teacher (they don’t pay into unemployment) occasionally. Do I list just my full time job I was laid off from?

  17. My question is, I originally quit driveing over the road truck, to get a job locally. I just started working to days and had an accident at home to wich I broke my right ankle. Im not going to be able to work for a while…..can I draw unemployment????

    • UI benefits are extended to those are physically fit and are able to work.

      Please explore other benefits like Workers compensation to see if there are any benefits for your condition.

  18. my last day of work is may 20th when can i apply. and what percentage do i get its me and my 2 kids

    • Please apply immediately after your last working day.

      What you get depends on a range of factors.

  19. I’ve been forced to resign because I need to take a personal leave of absence from May 28 – August 31, and the faculty at my job decided that I have to resign, rather than grant the request. My husband and I have insurance through our job and can’t afford COBRA, and we both have some health problems. What are our options for unemployment benefits so we can use government-provided insurance? Thanks very much.

    • All options are open if you lost your job due to no fault of your own.Remember,you must be actively looking for a job must be willing to accept a suitable offer that may come your way.

      Please log onto the website of the labor dept in your state and apply online or by phone.

  20. I quit my job on 12/31/2013. I moved to Kansas to live with my girlfriend and my son. My girlfriend needed assistance with her father, who had cancer. Am I eligible?

    • They will inquire on the background of your last job and the reason for leaving.

      Since your movement sounds valid, please go ahead and consider applying.You must be actively looking for a job and be willing to accept a suitable offer that comes your way.

  21. I’m currently on maternity leave, planning to go back to work April 1st. There are rumors about possible lay offs in the spring. I have been on bed rest for last 6 months of pregnancy. So if I was to get laid off would I still qualify for unemployment?

  22. My job was eliminated, but I have another part time job… Can I still apply for unemployment benefits?

    • Yes, you can apply for unemployment insurance for the min hours now worked in a week.Go ahead and apply for benefits.

  23. Was laid off 11-7-2013, how long do I have to file unemployment. Is there a certain number of days before I’m no longer eligible? Leaving town for a week.

  24. My position at my company has been terminated. I have been offered a small severance package. If I accept the severance package am I still eligible for unemployment?

    • A severance package in general does not exclude you entirely from unemployment, but you would have to contact your local unemployment office to find out if it has any impact (maybe your benefit amount is adjusted, maybe you do not open a claim until a certain time, etc.)

  25. I have been employed at Cornerstone Services Inc. in Joliet,IL for five years and 9 months. I quit my job and I moved to Houston,Tx and I’m currently looking for work, but in the meantime, will I be eligible for unemployment?

    • This is not the unemployment office – it is a public website – please do not post personal information. Can you check the status of your claim on the website? Are you able to retry claiming benefits? Call your local office as soon as possible.

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