Check status of unemployment application in Illinois

You have submitted the unemployment application in Illinois to the Illinois Department of Employment Security and wondering about the status of the unemployment application in Illinois. Well, below we will show you step by step what you must do to check the status of your unemployment application in Illinois.

What is the unemployment insurance program in Illinois?

The unemployment insurance program in Illinois is designed to help people who have lost their jobs for reasons beyond their control, that is, that even fulfilling their duties – such as their hours and responsibilities – they were fired. When an unemployed person files for unemployment in Illinois, they can receive up to 26 weeks of economic transfers, although this period of time may be extended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, in order to receive this check from the government, the state agency must verify that the citizen qualifies for the unemployment benefit. If approved, they will send you a letter by mail notifying you of your eligibility and also the amount of your benefits.

But, Is there a way to check the status of the unemployment application in Illinois? The truth is that yes. While you wait for the letter, you could use the state’s call center or online platform to stay on top of your claim. The good thing about these systems is that they are close at hand, they can be used without leaving home and the hours of operation are quite flexible. But, let’s see them in detail.

How does unemployment work in Illinois?

Every time a person applies for unemployment benefits in Illinois, must wait for and pass the state agency’s preliminary assessment. A representative of the state will verify that the information you provided in your registration and on the form is correct, and will also contact the employer to determine that the citizen meets all eligibility requirements.

This communication is made to find out if the employer had a valid reason to dismiss him or if, on the contrary, the worker was removed from his position for a cause beyond his control. Unemployment benefits are not normally provided to individuals who have voluntarily quit or have been fired for having an inappropriate attitude for the workplace.

Note: To receive Illinois benefits, the worker’s work history must show that they earned at least $1,600 during the base period used for the calculation and a minimum of $440 in the highest reporting quarter.

COVID-19 situation: The federal unemployment compensation program -which was activated as a result of the pandemic- could help you receive benefits, even if you do not fully meet all the requirements; especially those related to work history that is required in the state of Illinois.

That’s right: in that case, the reason for unemployment must be related in some way to the pandemic. For example, if a part-time restaurant worker is out of a job because the location closed due to COVID-19, they could receive financial compensation. The same would happen with the independent contractor that has lost its clients due to the pandemic.

How to check the status of the unemployment application in Illinois?

Once you have filed your initial unemployment claim with the Illinois agency, you should expect to receive a letter called “unemployment determination letter” or UI Finding. In general, this communication takes 7 to 10 days to arrive and is the one that will contain the results of your request. In it you can check the earnings that were used for the calculation, the amount of the weekly benefit and what will be the balance of the total transfers that will be made to you.

Illinois Unemployment UI Finding

But nevertheless, also know if your unemployment application was approved from home, this provided that the letter has not yet reached you. Let’s explore the two ways to check for unemployment in Illinois in detail:

  • Check unemployment online. To do so, visit the website of the Illinois Department of Employment Security. There you will be able to access relevant information about your claim, at least as long as you connect at any time other than between 8:00 pm and 10:00 pm If you applied for unemployment online, you can use your username and password to do the verification. Otherwise, you will have to register first. Once you have done so, log in to the system and you will see your claim with the status of the request. By this means you can also check your payment history and certify the benefits approved in the future.
  • Check unemployment by phone. Alternatively, you also have the option of accessing the unemployment system by calling 312-338-4337. This system is active from 3:00 am to 7:30 pm local time. In order to check your unemployment status this way, you must verify your identity and select option 3, which is the one that will allow you to know the status of your claim.

How long does it take for the unemployment check to arrive in Illinois?

Normally, once you are approved, you will need to return to the website or call the call center to submit your certification of benefits. This procedure should be repeated every two weeks. Typically, the agency will send you the check within a week of certification.

Note: If you cannot file your unemployment certification on the established date, you can do so on Thursday or Friday of the week of your certification. Remember to provide the agency with all the necessary information -income earned and data about your job search- to avoid problems or penalties for fraud or late payments.

COVID-19 situation: Typically, Illinois requires recipients to show that they are actively looking for work to qualify for weekly benefits. However, there is currently an exception due to the pandemic situation. Even so, we advise you to keep the agency informed of any type of income you receive and notify them in case your former employer calls you to return to your job.

What if I am denied unemployment benefits in Illinois?

If Illinois determines that you are not eligible to receive unemployment benefits, you will have 30 days to file your appeal. This would involve filling out a form that will basically give you the opportunity to explain your reasons for reconsideration. Once you finish completing this document, you must send it by fax or by mail, since the IDES offices are currently closed.

After reviewing the information, the state will determine whether to deny your appeal or give you an opportunity to be heard.. In the second case, an appeal hearing will be scheduled for you so that you can present your evidence and defend your claim. Do not forget to continue certifying your benefits every two weeks while this process lasts, since -if you win- the state will transfer the expired benefits to you.

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