While the Illinois Department of Employment Security (DES) has yet to update its website to reflect the changes to unemployment insurance (UI) programs put in place by the CARES Act, they have released some information to help residents applying for UI benefits during this public health emergency.
Claimants are required to provide their personal information and their employers' information, including dates of employment and the reason for leaving.. Due to the current emergency, residents of Illinois do not have to fulfill the work search requirement.
Individuals eligible for UI will receive an additional $600 each week and claimants who have already exhausted the usual 26 weeks of benefits can keep receiving benefits for up to an additional 13 weeks. Additionally, employees who have been temporarily laid off due to COVID-19 can get benefits, as long as they are ready to return to work as soon as their employer reopens. Parents who find themselves staying home (and cannot telework) to care for children out of school due to closures can also apply.
Unfortunately for independent contractor and gig economy workers, the Illinois DES has yet to accept UI claims from self-employed individuals. The DES is requesting that self-employed individuals do not apply at this time. The DES will provide more details as they receive guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor.
Due to the increase in phone calls and website traffic the Illinois DES is requesting that residents wishing to file their UI claim online. Although, claimants who wish to file their unemployment insurance claim over the phone can contact the Illinois Department of Employment Security between the hours of 7:30 am to 6 pm, according to the following schedule:
Last names starting with A through M can call on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Last names starting with N through Z can call on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Individuals who cannot call during these days can call on Fridays.
Residents should file their claims according to the following schedule:
Last names that start with A through M should file their claims on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursday
Last names that start with N through Z should file their claims Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
Saturdays are set aside for individuals who cannot file during their allotted time slot.
Before starting a claim, check out the federal stimulus package Q&A pdf and general FAQs. for important information regarding how the system works, including the importance of your Claimant ID. To start your UI claim online, scroll to the bottom of the 10 Things You Should Know, check the little box that you agree to the terms and conditions and click the File Your Online Claim link that pops up under it. If you have any questions or concerns, the website has a chat feature built-in to help you if you require assistance.
After thousands of Illinois Department of Employment Security customers came to GetHuman in search of an answer to this problem (and many others), we decided it was time to publish instructions. So we put together How Do I Claim Unemployment Benefits with the Illinois Department of Employment Security? to try to help. It takes time to get through these steps according to other users, including time spent working through each step and contacting Illinois Department of Employment Security if necessary. Best of luck and please let us know if you successfully resolve your issue with guidance from this page.
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