How to Apply for Unemployment in Illinois 2023 | Full Guide

Workers who are unemployed due to no fault of their own and who meet Illinois‘ eligibility conditions can receive unemployment insurance payments for short-term financial help. Here, you will learn how to apply for unemployment in Illinois.

If you have recently lost your job in Illinois, you may have options to apply for unemployment. While this does not replace your initial income, it is a means to make things easier for you until your subsequent employment.

Learn more about how to apply for unemployment in Illinois in this article.

What You Need to Know About Illinois

Midwestern states in the US include Illinois. The state’s capital is Springfield, and its largest city is Chicago. Other significant metropolises are Metro East, Peoria, and Rockford.

Illinois has the sixth-largest population, the fifth-largest gross domestic product (GDP), and the 25th-largest land area among the 50 states in the United States.

Illinois has much to see, do, and experience, making it an excellent destination. It is well-known for its significance to the American automobile industry, the Underground Railroad, and the end of slavery. Route 66, the original McDonald’s, and the giant catsup bottle in the world are all found in Illinois.

How Do Unemployment Benefits Work in Illinois?

The organization you’ll be dealing with if you need to apply for unemployment benefits in Illinois is the Illinois Department of Employment Security, or IDES, which oversees the state’s unemployment insurance benefits program.

If you meet the requirements, IDES offers a rather lengthy amount of time—usually 26 weeks—during which you can get benefits.

However, during economic downturns, states may decide to modify their benefits, and the federal government might contribute to the cost of extending state benefits at that time.

You may submit an unemployment claim online or in a nearby IDES office.

It would help if you took out time to read: What is Unemployment Insurance? | How to file in NJ

Is Unemployment a Federal or State Program?

Federal and state governments work together on the unemployment insurance program. States determine eligibility standards and benefit levels, collect and process claims, make payments, and evaluate and collect unemployment taxes.

State unemployment programs are funded by the unemployment trust fund, managed by the federal government, and established by state rules.

Who is Eligible for Unemployment in Illinois?

For this benefit program, you should be an Illinois resident and meet the qualifications specified below:

  • You lack a job.
  •  Although other states may have different rules, you would have worked in Illinois for the previous year to qualify.
  •  You must also have received benefits and a minimum wage following Illinois law, all the while being in the job market each week.

What Qualifies You For Unemployment in Illinois?

Receiving unemployment benefits requires two steps. To begin receiving benefits, you must first complete the eligibility conditions. You will also have to continue fulfilling weekly obligations to receive unemployment benefits if accepted.

Generally speaking, you must fulfill several conditions to begin receiving benefits.

  • For no fault of yours, you were fired from your work.
  •  Unemployment insurance benefits are generally ineligible if you were dismissed for misbehavior. If you leave your work, the same is probably true unless you have a legitimate excuse, such as having health problems or being a victim of sexual harassment.
  •  You earned only some of your money in one quarter; at least $440 was made in a quarter other than the one that was your highest-earning quarter.
  •  In sum, you made at least $1,600 throughout your base period (more on base periods next).

You must file with the Illinois Employment Service system at to be eligible for benefits since Illinois state law mandates that you actively seek employment to get benefits.

There is a one-week waiting time after your application is successful for unemployment benefits and starting to receive them. After then, to keep receiving funds, you must fulfill the conditions. Having to do the following:

  • Recertify your eligibility every two weeks by logging in or calling.
  •  Maintain records of your job searches since you may need to provide evidence.
  •  Get ready and willing to work; you will only be paid if you’re present due to illness.

What Disqualifies You for Unemployment in Illinois?

In Illinois, there are various ways to lose your eligibility for unemployment benefits:

  • You left your employment abruptly and without cause.
  •  You were laid off from your job as a result of wrongdoing related to your job.
  •  Also, you either chose not to accept a suitable job given to you or needed an adequate reason to apply for Illinois unemployment. Your health, safety, or morality may be in jeopardy; you would have to resign from or be barred from joining a union, the pay and workplace conditions were not as acceptable as those for the same sort of employment elsewhere in your community, or a labor dispute caused the opening.
  •  You lost your job because you stole from the company or committed a crime.
  •  You’ve already benefited from something else.
  •  You will be paid compensation for a specific week through vacation money or other comparable payments.
  •  For a handicap for which you are eligible for more incredible unemployment benefits than you are getting workers’ compensation.
  •  Compared to your rightful unemployment benefit, you are receiving more pension payments.
  •  You are between academic periods and work as a teacher, researcher, or administrator for a school.
  •  As a professional athlete, you compete in off-season competitions.

What Do You Need to Apply for Unemployment in Illinois?

You must give the unemployment office several items when applying for benefits. These consist of the following:

  • Social Security number
  •  A state ID card or a driver’s license.
  •  If you intend to include your spouse or kids as dependents, you must provide their Social Security numbers, names, and birthdates.
  •  All employer data from the last 18 months, contact details, employment dates, and the causes you left your previous job (s).
  •  Additionally, you could be asked to submit W-2s or pay stubs.
  •  You must provide a Member 4 duplicate of the DD form 214/215 if you are a currently separated veteran of the armed forces.
  •  A duplicate of your Standard Form 8 and Personnel Action Form 50 must be provided if you lose your job as a federal civilian employee.
  •  A summary of all pension payments you get, except Social Security.
  •  If you have been employed since Sunday of the week you are claiming benefits, please provide all gross earnings.
  •  If you are not a United States citizen, you must submit your alien registration information.

What are the Requirements to Apply for Unemployment in Illinois?

Below are the reliability requirements to apply for unemployment benefits in Illinois:

The cause of your unemployment

In Illinois, if an employer dismisses an employee for breaking the law or an employer’s policy, they are not eligible to obtain unemployment benefits. You would only be safe if you quit your work voluntarily if your company violated specific employment regulations.

There are a few exceptions, such as quitting your employment due to illness, domestic abuse, or joining your spouse in the military. The IDES will contact your old employer to confirm the cause of your termination when you claim benefits.

Work Capacity

The IDES only offers benefits to healthy people looking for jobs since unemployment benefits are to be transitory.

Physical disability does not automatically exclude you from benefits; instead, it only has an impact if your disability makes it challenging for you to obtain employment, which makes it impossible for you to collect unemployment benefits.

You will not be regarded as available for employment. You will thus be disqualified if you are a full-time student or have other obligations that prohibit you from seeking employment.

Financial Qualifications

Your prior earnings from your previous legal employer throughout your base period will also be taken into consideration by IDES. The base period is the first four of the most recent five consecutive full calendar quarters before your unemployment claim.

Your covered wages at that period must have totaled at least $1600 to be eligible. You must have obtained a minimum of $440 of your base period income from sources other than the calendar quarter wherein you earned the most money.

Employment Requirements

IDES anticipates that you will actively look for a new job to be eligible for unemployment benefits. Therefore, as soon as you obtain your permission letter, you must enroll in the Illinois Skills Match program, a job placement service administered by IDES.

You must keep detailed job search records to present IDES whenever they ask. This contains your application date, the institution’s name, and contact information. You instantly forfeit your rewards if you are unable to provide this information.

Also, see: Can You Get Unemployment If You Resign?

How Do I Apply for Unemployment in Illinois?

You can submit your unemployment in Illinois application online or in your neighborhood IDES office. You may discover your neighborhood office by inputting your zip code in the online office locator.

The IDES will issue you a finding after reviewing your application that will state whether or not your application has been successful and how much benefit money you will get.

If your claim is successful, you will be given a “certification day” when you need to get in touch with the organization to confirm that you complied with the rules for the prior week before requesting funds.

Another option is to dial (800) 244-5631. However, phone wait times might be very long.

You must have a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet to submit an online application.You can not use a phone.

There is an option to apply in person, too, and you can go for this information by finding a location near you.

When Do I Apply for Unemployment in Illinois?

Employees who lose their work or see a significant reduction in hours should make an insurance claim within the first week. Any new or renewed claims will go into effect on the Sunday of the week they lodge.

How Will I Receive My Unemployment Benefits?

Asking how you will receive your unemployment benefits in Illinois.

Both a direct transfer directly to your bank account and a prepaid debit card are options for how you might receive your payment. After validating your benefits for the week, you will typically receive the payment if you select direct deposit within two working days.

If you’d prefer to have the money deposited into your bank account, you’ll need to deliberately choose direct deposit, as that is the default choice.

Be aware that costs can come in if you want to receive your money using a debit card. For instance, it will cost you 50 cents to pay your bills online using your debit card.

Additionally, while the first two withdrawals from an ATM each month are free, additional withdrawals during a month may cost up to $1.40.

Like many other jurisdictions, Illinois mandates that you wait a whole week before getting benefits. This implies that you won’t get unemployment benefits for the first week after filing your claim.

When Will My Employment Benefit be Deposited?

Illinois provides unemployment benefits according to the calendar week, which runs from Sunday through Saturday. After the conclusion of the week for that week of unemployment, you may anticipate receiving your benefit check.

You can have your contact day, meeting day, or certification day to update your work status each week after your first unemployed week.

How Much Will I Recieve in Unemployment in Illinois?

Your weekly benefit depends on the aggregation of your base period earnings for the two highest-paid quarters, subtracting 47% of that sum, and dividing that result by 26.

Let’s assume your two most successful quarters brought in a total of $15,000 for you. You would be qualified for $272 each week.

Your maximum weekly payment is $471; if you have a spouse or dependent child who is out of jobs, you may be eligible for an extra allowance.

You receive $52 per week, or 9% of your combined earnings over your two highest-paying base period quarters, for a non-working spouse.

You get $100 in our case, or 17.4% of your total earnings for your two top-paid base period quarters, for a dependent kid. Also, you cannot claim the non-working spouse deduction and the child tax credit.

The maximum weekly stipend for a spouse who is not employed is $91; the maximum weekly allowance for a dependent kid is $175.

In addition, as part of the recently enacted economic stimulus plan, everyone who submits an unemployment application is now eligible for an additional $600 per week. The period of unemployed from March 27 to July 31 is covered by that $600.

After then, your weekly benefit returns to its original amount, which is the sum you are legally eligible for, according to the calculations above.

How Long Can I Collect Unemployment Benefits in Illinois?

The payments will keep coming as long as you continue maintaining your benefits every two weeks and satisfy the continuing requirements or until you find new employment or the maximum of 26 weeks have elapsed.

Unless the state modifies benefit maximums and limits due to an economic catastrophe, the state can only prolong your benefits if you cannot get employment before that period expires.

How To Manage Your Unemployment in Illinois

Your biweekly certification is one of the most significant aspects of maintaining unemployment benefits. You will start the certification procedure for the first time two weeks after submitting your initial claim.

Also, you must confirm that you are competent and actively looking for work to keep receiving unemployment benefits. You must also disclose any money you received during the two-week benefit period.

You will respond to fundamental inquiries concerning your job situation throughout the procedure. Online is the most effective method to achieve it. You can submit your weekly certification online from 3 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

You may also use Tele-Serve to submit your unemployment claim over the phone.

See Also: Minnesota Unemployment And How To File To Collect Your Benefits.

What If My Unemployment Application is Denied?

The rejection of your application is naturally upsetting. You could, however, be eligible owing to an exemption. For instance, even though quitting your job typically disqualifies you from unemployment benefits, you can still qualify if you were subjected to harassment at work.

It is advisable to appeal the judgment if your application is rejected. You have 30 days to complete this. You must therefore send a letter or complete a form, then mail, fax, or deliver it to an IDES office in your area to submit a claim.

After that, you will have to appear in court for a hearing where you may make your case and subpoena witnesses. A judge will decide after reviewing all the facts. You can appeal again to the board of review and then to the circuit court in your county if your request is still rejected.


What disqualifies you from unemployment in Illinois?

There are various ways to lose eligibility for unemployment benefits in Illinois: You left your employment abruptly and without cause. You lost your job as a result of wrongdoing related to your job. You either chose not to accept a suitable job given to you or needed a valid reason for applying for Illinois unemployment.

Do you get unemployment if you get fired?

If you were let go for reasons other than your fault, such as lacking the necessary abilities for the position, you could be eligible for unemployment compensation. You might not qualify if you were sacked for misbehavior or severe misconduct.

How long do you have to be employed to get unemployment in Illinois?

You must meet the requirements listed below to be eligible: Financial (earnings) qualification: For Illinois to determine a weekly benefit amount, you must have made enough money during the previous 18 months. This can be decided when the paperwork is filed.


Despite the possibility that Illinois unemployment benefits won’t completely replace your regular income, you can find solace in the fact that the state’s maximum benefit amount is higher than that of some other states.

One more thing to be aware of is that you can have part of the taxes associated with your benefits withheld from your paycheck when you sign up for benefits.

A Form 1099-G will also be mailed to you after the year. These advantages aren’t entirely free, but they may be of great assistance when you need them.


  • – How to Apply for Unemployment in Illinois
  • – Illinois Unemployment
  • – Illinois unemployment benefits: How to file

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