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Illinois Unemployment Extension

Does Illinois Offer Extended Benefits?

If you live in the state of Illinois and become unemployed through no fault of your own, you are able to collect unemployment insurance benefits for 26 weeks. But what happens if – while making an honest attempt to find a new job – you still haven’t found one at the end of those 26 weeks? In certain instances, there are options for an extended benefit. However, these extended benefits programs are generally only available during periods of high unemployment, natural disasters, or pandemics.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

Self-employed workers, gig workers, and contract workers who were not eligible for traditional unemployment benefits were eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. PUA, as it’s called shorthand, expired on September 4th, 2021. However, when it was available, it provided relief to those denied regular UI benefits.

PUA recipients had to submit their 1040 tax forms for the 2019 and 2020 tax years, depending on whether they applied for PUA in 2020 or 2021. PUA benefit recipients also needed to state that they were unable to work for a reason related to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Eligibility for PUA in terms of Covid might include reasons such as: becoming sick with Covid, having to take care of a family member with Covid, needing to provide childcare because of school closure due to Covid, or even not wanting to go to a work setting where Covid-related protocols were not being enforced. People collecting PUA were also exempt from the regular requirements such as the Illinois unemployment work search.

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation provided benefit recipients with an additional $300 each week they filed for regular Illinois unemployment or PUA. As such, they were not technically extended unemployment benefits, but rather additional benefits for those filing for regular unemployment benefits and/or those filing for the Illinois unemployment extension.

These FPUC benefits were available federally from December 27, 2020, until September 4th, 2021—but the Illinois Department of Economic Security did not begin paying them out until January 4th, 2021. Anyone receiving even $1 of unemployment compensation received these benefits, and there was no separate application process for these supplemental benefits. Recipients were paid alongside the state benefits paid out as an unemployment claim.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation was provided to those collecting regular unemployment insurance who exhausted all their weeks of benefit collection, and then the 13 weeks of extended benefits provided by the state.

This program also ended on September 4th, 2021. PEUC benefits were available to jobless claimants for an additional 13 weeks. Combined with the 13 weeks of Illinois EB, this means a jobless claimant could have collected unemployment for up to 52 weeks.

Although PEUC was paid out by the state, it was a program that received federal funding across the United States to help Americans impacted by the Corona Pandemic with lost wages assistance.

Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC)

The Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation program was part of the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act of 2020. This provided an additional $100 per week to anyone collecting unemployment who was previously employed and also an independent contractor earning at least $5,000 during the applicable base period for determining their benefit amounts.

Note that this particular type of jobless benefit was not available to those collecting PUA benefits or regular benefits. But those recipients of MEUC who met the eligibility requirements of collecting even just $1 of mixed earners unemployment compensation could indeed also collect the $300 additional benefits of FPUC paid by the federal government.

Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC)

Emergency Unemployment Compensation is a program that provides federally funded extended unemployment compensation benefits during emergencies. The EUC Program was enactment on June 30, 2008. The most recent extension to the EUC Program became effective January 06, 2013, extending the program through December 28, 2013. These benefits change from one state to another as it is dependent on the unemployment rate of the state. Congress has enacted various tiers over the years.

Benefits under the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program are payable to individuals who:

  • Have exhausted all weeks payable under the Regular Unemployment Insurance Compensation Program and
  • Continue to meet all applicable eligibility requirements.

During national emergencies, an individual may be eligible to receive up to a maximum of 37 paid weeks under the EUC program. Eligibility requirements are applicable.

EUC Tiers

The number of weeks stated below applies to claimants who have no deductions or reductions of their weekly benefit amount payments.
An individual must exhaust the number of payable weeks available in one Tier before collecting benefits on the next Tier.

The payable weeks are divided into multiple EUC Tiers as follows:

EUC TIERS  WEEKS AVAILABLE
Tier 1 14 weeks
Tier 2 14 weeks
Tier 3 9 weeks

When the EUC claim has been established, you will receive a Notice from IDES regarding the EUC claim. Along with the notice, you will also receive a packet with instructions on when to report to your local office for Reemployment Services/Reemployment Eligibility Assessment Program. Participation in this assessment is required to determine your continued eligibility for EUC benefits.
The packet will also provide you with information on the requirements to remain eligible for EUC benefits.

Illinois Extended Benefits (EB)

Extended benefits in Illinois are generally not available unless the unemployment rate is extremely high. However, they were available during the COVID pandemic. These extended benefits provided an additional 13 weeks of unemployment relief to those claimants who had already exhausted their 26 weeks of regular unemployment.

If you lose your job, it’s important to look at your unemployment insurance as a temporary measure. Using the Illinois unemployment calculator will help you gauge the total dollar amount of benefits you will be able to collect, so you can plan out your personal finances accordingly. Remember that outside of certain circumstances like a pandemic or extreme economic recession, you will not be able to rely on the possibility of extended benefits. 

Regarding any of these expired programs, you might be wondering if it is possible to file a claim for unemployment back pay if you missed filing for any of these extended benefits during the pandemic. Unfortunately, the IDES stopped accepting applications after October 6th, 2021. However, any application that was submitted before then was reviewed and provided with a determination.

Some individuals during the COVID Pandemic received PUA overpayments to the tune of somewhere around $125 million. Overpayment recipients received or will receive a Request for Waiver of Recovery of PUA Overpayment Questionnaire in the mail, which they must fill out and return. They will not have to return the overpayment if it was collected through no fault of the claimant and returning the overpayment would violate equity and good conscience.

  1. Need to contact Mitch McConnell since the House has passed over 200 bills and they are all just sitting on Mitch’s desk so they can claim that the House has done nothing when in truth, Mitch has not done anything good for this Country for a very long time.

  2. Are there any extensions in EUC? If not, any suggestions on how to survive off just my husband paycheck while I still search for a job and we have 2 small kids? Thanks.

    • Linda,

      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.

      • Thanks! One last question, if I haven’t found a job that was close to my pay of my previous position, would I be able to collect unemployment again at any certain time? I am offered a seasonal position but it is no where close to what I was making.

  3. congress and whoever else is over approving unemployment extensions needs to get off of their high horses and approve the extension for year 2019 in Illinois. They sit in these offices making decisions for everyone else while at the same time, they can pay their rents, buy food, etc. it does not make sense that we work some many years; but can only claim benefits for 26 weeks, and nothing after that; when they have no problem taking money from our checks when we’re working, the system is really messed up, the people that’s making decisions for others has no compassion, no concern, except to line their own pockets and their families. it’s a shame these people get to make decisions and stay in office for years.

    • Tim,

      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.

    • My benefits have run out. I have worked for 28 years with only having 8 weeks out of work because the company I was employed at moved out of the area. Only 26 weeks of unemployed was offered which is nothing in comparison to a steady income. Now I am back in the same situation. Not happy that the state of Illinois finds it more important to incarcerate the community rather than employ the community. We are living below our means as best as we can but the rich keeps getting rich and poor remains poor! The state of Illinois does not want to educate or train you properly for a specific job. No I am not happy that unemployment will not be extended. It’s our money and we want it now.

      • Terese,

        I can understand your situation. At times, extended benefits may be available. Please call the Claims Center for further inquiry.

    • 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.

    • 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. I applied for benefits May of 2016, got it for 1 check and went back to work until January of 2017,at which time they told me I was just being placed back with my original claim. My benefits run out this month am I eligible to reapply because I worked another 7 months after my claim had already been approved?

  5. I have been unemployed since January 2016. My last unemployment check was in June 2016,
    I am still unemployed in May 2017. Can I reapply for unemployment benefits since this is a new year and my initial 6 months of unemployment compensation was claimed and payed in 2016. It has been nearly a year since my last unemployment check. Lastly, are there EUC benefits available if i can not receive unemployment compensation for the newest benefit period of 2017 in which I received no payments at all?

    • As far as I am aware, Unemployment Insurance benefits are not revolving in nature. You will only be able to apply for it once.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for further details.

  6. Is it true that as long as the Illinois UE rate is lower than the national rate there is no chance of an extension?

    • The Jobless rate in your state is higher than the national average. I am not aware of the existence of state-sponsored extension.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for further details.

  7. just like ss the government takes money from our earnings and gives us what they feel we need to live on like the days of the monarches and the serfs. what we need is a government that supports us with our dollars given and quite supporting other countries with our dollars. are we americans or are we aliens in our America? get off of your fat political asses and help the people who are supporting our system pass the dam 2014 extension already.

  8. I lost my benefits after only 6 months on it and not have not had any income since December 2013, Are there any programs that can assist me. I cant seen to get any answers from the IDES office,

    • Please call the labor dept in your state to inquire.

      The emergency unemployment compensation(E.U.C) program sponsored by the federal govt. remains expired.

  9. I recently lost my job in November. My benefits were supposed to be for one year. When I got my deposit today it was for one week only and it is saying my balance is $0.. how is this possible

  10. Many people in Illinois are still unemployed
    But yet the government sends billions in aid to other countries while the good people here in this country suffer

  11. I live in Wisconsin but was employed in Ill I was told I have exhausted all money in my account But I am eligable to receive emergency funds when will this happen???

  12. whtheyu sent me a letter sayin my emergency extension end 6/23/2014… then says my money is exhausted .. $00.00 what does that mean???!!!

    • The Senate has stalled the extension because they cannot agree. And, they are going on vacation for over a week. It may not pass and if it does it could be a while.

    • The extension needs to be approved by the congress which looks like, is being debated.Watch out for news relating to this.

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