Illinois Unemployment Weekly Claims

Once you are clear to receive unemployment benefits, the next step is to prepare yourself for weekly certification. In order to keep receiving an unemployment check every week you must file a weekly claim or continued claim or weekly certification.
The term “certify” or “claim certification” is used to describe how you claim weeks of unemployment and received benefits if you meet the eligibility requriements. This term is used because you are certifying on a biweekly basis by answering a set of questions.

Certification Questions –

Below is a list of questions that will be asked during the certification process. Review and prepare the answers before you certify to ensure quick, accurate certification. Your answers to the questions will determine your eligibility for benefits. Also, depending on the program from which you are receiving benefits, you may be asked additional questions.

1. Have you received or will you receive holiday pay during the period of Sunday (week 1 beginning date) through Saturday (week 2 ending date)?
Tip: Make sure you have your holiday pay amount available.
If yes, enter the gross amount of your holiday pay (before deductions) for each week.

2. Did you work during the period of Sunday (week 1 beginning date) through Saturday (week 2 ending date)? Tip: Have your gross earnings before taxes and other deductions available.
If yes, enter the total amount of earnings (before deductions) for each week.

3. Has your dependency status changed during this certification period?
Were you able and available to work each day during your normal work week?
If no, enter the number of days you were unavailable for work in each of the weeks.

4. Did you actively look for work for the week of Sunday (week 1 beginning date) through Saturday (week 2 ending date)?

5. Are you receiving or have you applied for primary Social Security benefits?

6. Other than Social Security, are you receiving or have you applied for a retirement or disability pension?
If yes, has the amount changed?

7. Did you attend school or receive training?
If yes, did you attend all scheduled training courses?
If no, enter the number of days that you did not attend class.

8. Do you have a current workers’ compensation claim or do you expect to receive workers’ compensation for a temporary disability?

These questions not only talk about what will be asked, they are a useful insight into how you must prepare yourself during the week and also what should be done each week to receive benefits continually.

Weekly Claim Options –

On your scheduled certification day, there are two ways to claim your weeks of benefits:

  • Certify Online (login required)
  • Call using the automated telephone service, Tele-Serve (English & Spanish)

Call Tele-Serve:
5:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday

1-800-662-3943 (TDD/TTY)
Monday through Friday 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM

Certifications are done every two weeks on your assigned call day.

23 thoughts on “Illinois Unemployment Weekly Claims”

  1. Perry D Black Sr says:

    Tried to certify for benefits for previous two weeks (returned to work the second week)…was only given certification dates for first week, which is fine, but after entering all required info never got to last page to confirm and print my answers or acknowledge I completed my certification because of software error. Do I recertify for third attempt or am I ok?

    1. Sam says:


      I suggest you call the Claims Center for guidance in this regard.

  2. Mike Chaple says:

    I was granted benefits, and was supposed to certify last week. I didn’t, due to an accident and was hospitalized. Should I certify now or wait till my next certification date?

    1. Sam says:


      Get well soon.

      Please certify when the window is open. I am not sure if the system will let you claim during a non-operating time.

  3. Jim Reed says:

    My residence is in Florida. My employer is in Illinois. Do I file for unemployment due to lay-off in Illinois or Florida? Thank you.

    1. Sam says:

      Please file for UI benefits from the state where your employer is based since they would remit taxes there.

  4. Rob says:

    I don’t understand illinois unemployment, do I file every sunday and certify every other Monday which is my certification day or do I only file every other monday?

  5. steve horgan says:

    Applied online and was sent a letter and given an amount to expect on a debit card that would come out within 7 days. Also given my certification day of 3/8/15. However, I then got a letter telling me to prove my identity and that I had till 3/11 to send the documents. I faxed in the required documents on Sunday 2/28/16.

    So will my debit card be held up while they verify my identity? How long does the process to verify identity take?

    1. Martin says:

      The claim will be withheld until the verification is complete. Should not take them more than 5 days I suppose.

      Please call the claims center if you so not hear from them shortly.

  6. rob says:

    I just signed up, unfortunately. My concern is that I cannot find how many search contacts I am required to provide to make the weekly certification. Some generic sites say two, some say three. In short, how many weekly contacts am I required to produce to certify in Illinois?

    1. Martin says:

      It would be great if you can call the claims center on the official phone numbers provided to get precise information.

  7. barry overton says:

    I said no to school when i cirtfiyed wiill i gegget money this week

    1. Adrian says:

      Please check with the labor dept in your state.

  8. ray c says:

    What happenes when I forgot to recertifie on my day when will I get payed next

    1. Adrian says:

      Please check with the claims by calling them.

  9. larry holmes says:

    tryed calling to certifi weeks of unemployment phone system lets me answer all questions then keeps repeating not certifing my benifits

    1. Adrian says:

      Please check if you have an option to speak to a representative. Looks like this needs human intervention.

  10. Philip Lantz says:

    I am trying to file certification for my last week of unemployment. I did not work the first week , but worked the second week. Will not let me enter zero for the 1st weeks gross wages.

    1. Adrian says:

      Please use (800) 244-5631 to get in touch with the claims center who will advice you further.

  11. James says:

    After certifying, will I be notified of my benefits and how long does it take?

    1. Adrian says:

      You must receive communication from the labor dept.

      Initial claims will take up to 10 working days to be processed.

  12. Mohammad K Rahman says:

    My question is how much money will I get for unemployment monthly.

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