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What are unemployment benefits in illinois

what are unemployment benefits in illinois

You may not be “eligible” if:

  • You quit your job without good cause.
  • You were discharged for misconduct.
  • You failed, without good cause, to apply for or accept a suitable job offered to you.
  • You were discharged because you committed a felony/theft in connection with work.
  • You are unemployed because a labor dispute has caused a stoppage of work at the place where you work.
  • You are receiving UI benefits from another state or under federal law.
  • You are being paid vacation pay, vacation allowance, stand-by pay, retirement pension and/or Social Security payments.
  • You are currently receiving worker’s compensation benefits.
  • You have not earned the required amount to qualify for a second year of benefits.
  • You are not a legal resident of the U.S. or have a work permit.

* Good cause may include: health, sexual harassment, domestic violence, unsuitable work, etc.

Insured Work

Insured work is work performed for an employer who is subject to the law. An employer is required to make payments to the state under the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act. This money is used to pay unemployment benefits.

Most jobs are covered by the law, but there are some exceptions. Some types of work may not be insured in Illinois and other types of work may be insured for some employers but not insured for others. Wages paid for work that is not insured cannot be used as a basis for claiming benefits.

If you have any questions, consult your local IDES staff directly.

Call IDES at 1-800-244-5631 or TTY at 1-866-322-8357.


You also need to provide proper documentation and information in order to file a UI claim.

This includes:

  • Social Security number
  • Names and addresses of past employers
  • Number of days worked for each employer
  • Records showing wages earned (including dismissal wages and vacation pay)
  • Records of any pension payments and/or earnings while unemployed
  • Your spouse’s employment status and Social Security number
  • Names, birth dates and Social Security numbers of your children, including stepchildren, adopted children under 18, disabled children regardless of age and any child of whom you have court-ordered custody (bring a copy of court order)

Filling a Claim

You may file an unemployment benefit claim online or in person.

To file an unemployment claim in person, visit an Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) office.

To find an office near you, call 1-800-244-5631 or visit:

After you file your claim, you will be assigned a call day to certify for weeks of benefits.

You must certify every two weeks to receive benefits. You may do so by phone with Tele-Serve phone system or by mail.

To contact Tele-Serve, call 312-338-4337.

To know if you qualify to be a mail filer, contact IDES directly.

IDES representatives will provide you with when and how information to certify weeks.

Be prepared with the proper documentation. You will need: Social Security number, Personal Identification Number (PIN), gross wages earned or holiday pay received during certification period, paper and pencil.

The Department also requires individuals to register for job placement service at an IDES office or online at: Some individuals may be exempted.

After your claim is filed, IDES will send you a statement called a finding, which includes information such as your weekly benefit amount and your maximum amount of benefits.

If this document has incorrect information, contact IDES.


If you have any questions, call 1-800-244-5631 or TTY at 1-866-322-8357.

Category: Credit

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