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.

Common Reasons for Unemployment Insurance Denial in Illinois

Unemployment denial in Illinois can happen for many reasons. However, instances of denied unemployment benefits usually occur due to candidates’ failing to meet the general or weekly eligibility requirements, although unemployment benefits denied to applicants can also come as a result of the circumstances surrounding their separation from a previous job. In any case, it is important to learn how to determine your eligibility before submitting an application.

Generally, denial of unemployment benefits occurs when applicants did not perform insured work, are not able and available to work, did not meet the minimum income requirement during the base period for work or failed to meet another general or weekly eligibility requirement. Denial of unemployment insurance benefits can also occur because of a disqualification relating to your reason for leaving your job. Generally, to avoid denied unemployment in Illinois, you must be unemployed through no fault of your own. This means you must have good cause to separate from your job. Reasons for unemployment insurance benefits denial may include discharge for misconduct connected with your work, unemployment due to a worker’s strike, failing to accept a suitable job offer or receiving worker’s compensation for the same time you would have claimed unemployment insurance benefits. For a full list of common reasons for disqualification from unemployment insurance, download our comprehensive guide.

Appealing Denial of Unemployment Insurance in Illinois

If you find your Illinois unemployment compensation benefits denied after you learn how to apply for benefits and submit the forms, you are able to mount an unemployment denial appeal, which will give you the opportunity to have your case reexamined, as well as to provide evidence strengthening your denied IL unemployment case. When IDES has issued an unemployment application denial, the state will notify you. Within 10 days after filing your claim, you will be sent a document with your unemployment insurance findings. The document will contain basic information like your dependent type and filing method, and it will notify you of your unemployment insurance case decision. The unemployment denial appeal process is your opportunity to contest a denied unemployment benefits finding and present your case, along with the relevant proofs or witnesses, to an IDES referee. To begin the denial process, you must complete and submit a request form to the Illinois Department for Employment Security (IDES) within a certain period of time explaining your reasons for disagreeing with the UI determination. Be sure to provide all your reasons and facts. Even while your appeal of unemployment benefits denial is underway, continue to certify for benefits bi-weekly online or by phone, as you may be awarded benefits for this period depending on the outcome of your appeal.

After you request a UI denial appeal, your case will be assigned to a judge, and you will receive a notification with the date and time of your hearing. When learning how to appeal unemployment insurance decisions in Illinois, note that you must take part in the hearing by phone, although in-person hearings may be available in certain cases. During your hearing, all parties will communicate via conference call, and you may have anyone you choose represent you. For unemployment denial appeal hearings, you may have the option to receive free legal aid through private law firms affiliated with IDES. When preparing to argue a denied unemployment benefits finding, you must contact the applicable phone number for legal help as soon as possible if you are interested in legal representation.

If your first appeal of IL unemployment benefits denial is not successful, you may choose to appeal to the Board of Review, a body of five appointed by the governor of Illinois. Appealing an unemployment benefit denial to the Board of Review requires requesting an appeal within a certain period of time after having your Illinois unemployment compensation benefits denied by the IDES referee during the initial appeal. To appeal an unemployment decision by the IDES referee, you must file a request with the Board of Review. Finally, if you disagree with the Board of Review’s decision, you may appeal to your County’s Circuit court. To learn more information about the appeals process and receive helpful tips on preparing for your appeal, download our comprehensive guide today.