Illinois Unemployment Assistance

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Illinois unemployment benefits function much like insurance and are available to state residents who find themselves temporarily or permanently without work. Unemployment insurance is intended to provide workers who have lost their jobs with basic funds while they are looking for work. Similar to insurance, an Illinois worker who finds him or herself unemployed needs to file a claim in order to receive benefits. An unemployment claim is processed by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). Besides dispensing unemployment insurance benefits, the IDES also maintains a jobs database, keeps records of state unemployment rates and provides programs for Illinois residents to find work.

EDD unemployment, called IDES unemployment in Illinois, is financed with taxes that many employers are mandated to pay as part of the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act. The amount of unemployment insurance an employer is required to pay depends on how much the state pays its former employees in benefits. Generally speaking, the more claims employees file after having been terminated or laid off by a particular employee, the more that employer must pay towards unemployment taxes. As such, an unemployment claim may be contested by an employer who believes the claim to be false or made in error. Unemployment insurance is never deducted from a worker’s wages, unlike Social Security Insurance (SSI). Also unlike SSI, unemployment benefits are not a form of welfare and are not based on a claimant’s needs.

Unemployment insurance coverage is never meant to provide you with permanent benefits. In fact, unemployment benefits are generally paid to qualified claimants for no more than 26 weeks during a 12-month period. The intention of the IDES is to support you while you find employment, and claimants are required to seek work while they receive benefits. Detailed Illinois unemployment information can be found in the sections below, including a description of the benefits that are available to you if you lose your job, eligibility requirements and application instructions. Additionally, information on unemployment claim denials are also covered below, as well as information on benefit extensions and wrongful termination.

Eligibility for Unemployment Insurance in Illinois

Eligibility for unemployment in Illinois can be complicated to navigate, especially if you have just lost your job and are anxious about what to do next. ‘What are the requirements to get unemployment?’ is a question many Illinois residents may ask when they find themselves suddenly without work. Unemployment insurance eligibility is actually accessible to most workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own. Many employers pay for unemployment insurance for their employees through taxes, and many employees have the right to those benefits simply by having worked for such an employer. The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) manages the unemployment insurance program. While workers may be entitled to the program’s benefits because of their employers’ contributions, there are still certain eligibility requirements that need to be met in order to receive payment. Learn how to meet IL unemployment eligibility requirements here. READ MORE.

How to Apply for Unemployment Insurance in Illinois

Many often wonder how to apply for unemployment online in Illinois because they are concerned about the prospect of losing their jobs and not being able to meet their household expenses without a regular paycheck. Applying for unemployment insurance helps provide a potential safety net for eligible Illinois residents, as unemployment registration ensures paychecks for a certain number of weeks for those left without a full-time job while they search for new employment. Residents who register for unemployment insurance in Illinois receive money from those Illinois employers who are required to pay unemployment insurance taxes under the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act. Residents who successfully file for an unemployment claim, however, will receive only partial benefits for a limited amount of time, so it is essential to actively search for work while receiving unemployment insurance benefits. Under the law, it is also important that claimants be ‘able and available to work’ while receiving benefits under the state’s unemployment insurance law. The following paragraphs explain the application process for unemployment insurance in IL and review the options regarding where to sign up for unemployment. For additional specific information on how to apply for unemployment compensation, download our comprehensive guide. READ MORE

Unemployment Benefits in Illinois

You can claim unemployment benefits in Illinois if you have suddenly been terminated or laid off from your job through no fault of your own. An unemployment benefits claim should be filed within the week that you become unemployed. Federal unemployment benefits are actually managed in state by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). The benefits that the IDES disperses to qualified claimants are intended to help compensate any lost wages as a result of unemployment. These benefits are paid to you in regular increments after filing for benefits, and the amount paid to you depends on your working conditions prior to becoming unemployed. Information on claiming benefits for unemployment can be found in the sections below, including an outline of what types of benefits you can expect to receive, how long you are allowed to receive benefits and how to calculate your unemployment benefit amount. READ MORE

Denial of Unemployment Insurance in Illinois

If you have been denied unemployment in Illinois, you may be concerned about being able to provide for yourself and your dependents while you search for new full-time work. You may also feel your unemployment insurance denial is unfair or unwarranted, and may want to have your application for benefits reexamined. Fortunately, unemployment denial appeal is an option for those who feel they have been unjustly denied unemployment insurance and fear they may face considerable hardship without the partial compensation provided under the Unemployment Insurance Act to workers who have lost full-time work. Before appealing unemployment benefits denial in Illinois, however, remember that the compensation paid in unemployment insurance is funded by taxes on Illinois employers and not, as many mistakenly believe, through payroll deductions. Illinois offers multiple UI denial appeal options, but your successful appeal of the Illinois Department of Unemployment Security’s (IDES) denial will rest on the particular circumstances of your case rather than on any pre-existing rights to unemployment funds. If you are wondering, ‘What can I do if unemployment denied my application?’ the following paragraphs review common denial reasons and explain the process of how to appeal your denial. READ MORE

Unemployment Insurance Extensions in Illinois

A federal unemployment extension in Illinois may sometimes be available to state residents who have exhausted all their unemployment insurance benefits. An unemployment benefits extension is part of a federally financed program that is typically available during times of high unemployment. There are two unemployment extension programs that may be offered during these times: Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Extended Benefits. Currently, unemployment extensions are not available in Illinois as there is no immediate employment crisis in the state. The information below refers to the extensions that the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) offered through the federal government up until January 1st, 2014. IL Unemployment benefit extensions may be offered again in the future if the U.S. Department of Labor deems it necessary. To find out all of the details on unemployment extensions and how they function, download our comprehensive, free guide. READ MORE

Wrongful Termination in Illinois

Wrongful termination in Illinois can be a complicated subject for many. Proving you have been wrongfully terminated is challenging, as Illinois is an ‘at-will’ employment state, meaning that employers and workers alike can end employment without advance notice and without supplying any reason or cause for their decision. Wrongful dismissal, however, can occur when employers violate certain exceptions to this ‘at-will’ rule, which are meant to protect workers from unsafe work conditions. For those wondering, ‘What is a wrongful termination?’ employees are wrongfully fired in IL when an employer discriminates based on certain protected characteristics and identities. Additionally, unlawful termination can also occur when an employer fires an employee in retaliation for certain actions. In these special cases, employees have a cause of action to challenge their employers and build a legal case against them. If you have been wrongfully terminated from job opportunities or have questions about what it means to be wrongfully fired from job opportunities, you might be interested in learning more about your rights as an employee. The following sections review employee rights against being fired illegally, explaining exceptions to ‘at-will’ employment in Illinois and discussing how to file a discrimination charge against employers in the state. READ MORE