How much is unemployment in Illinois

In Illinois, there is the “Unemployment Insurance Program” (UI), whose mission is to pay benefits to workers that have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

It is a program provided by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). However, unemployment claims are reviewed and monitored by the federal government; in other words, your documentation will be subject to verification.

In this article, you will find an easy guide to learn what requirements you need to meet, and how is the process to apply.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible to get unemployment benefits in Illinois, you have to check if you meet these criteria:

Monetary conditions

The very first thing that the IDES will review is your last income. You should have earned at least $1,600 during your “base period”; $440 must have been obtained outside of your highest paying quarter.

Your “base period” consists of the previous 4 quarters out of the 5 full calendar quarters prior to filing your claim. For example, if you filed your claim in April, the base period would be from January 1 to December 31.

If you work part-time, you are eligible as long as you meet the income requirement.

Cause of unemployment

To get these benefits, you have to demonstrate that you are unemployed through no fault of your own.

Also, you may be wondering if you can get unemployment benefits if you quit your job or get fired. If this happens, the department will schedule an appointment with you to review the circumstances of your case. You have to prove that you quitted for a good reason, or your former employer must prove that you were not involved in misconduct.

If you disagree with the final decision, you can appeal.

Availability to work again

By the time you apply, you need to be available to work immediately, and you must look for a job weekly.

Register with the Illinois State Employment Service at, unless you have been temporarily fired due to COVID-19; in this case, you do not need to complete this step.

Required information when applying

  • Your Social Security number.
  • Your driver’s license or state ID.
  • Data from your last job (address, company name, supervisor’s name, phone number, and mail location).
  • The reason and the date you stopped working.
  • The sum of your last salary.
  • Data from your former jobs during the past 18 months (company names, addresses, dates of employment, gross wages earned, and the reason you are not working there anymore)
  • Information of your legal authorization to work in the US or your citizenship status.
  • If you are a newly discharged veteran, copy of the DD form 214.

Benefit amount

The maximum weekly amount per individual is currently $484.00. Also, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Federal Aid now provides an additional benefit of $600 per week through July 31, 2020.

You will be able to receive unemployment benefits for a total of 26 weeks. However, keep in mind that the full amount can vary depending on your case.

What can you do if your claim is rejected?

You can appeal the decision within 30 days of the ineligibility verdict. Forms and instructions are available online through Illinois Legal Aid Online:

How to apply?

Phone call

You can call the claim center to 1-800-244-5631, Monday through Friday, from 10 am to 3 pm.


The fastest way to apply is through the IDES official website; follow these steps:

IDES file unemployment claim



  • Watch the instructional video and then click on “File for Regular Unemployment Benefits.”
  • Read the “10 things you should know”.
  • Check the white box to certify that you have read and understood the terms and conditions and then click on “File Your Online Claim.”
  • Login to your account or create one if you do not have it.
  • Select “Individual Home,” and then “Submit my unemployment claim.”
  • Fill in all the required information; when you finish, click “Continue.”
  • At this point, the website should present a list of recent employers that have submitted information from your Social Security number. Confirm that this information is correct and fill out any other needed information.
  • Then, you will be asked additional questions about your current occupation and income.
  • You will then come to a page with a summary of all your information. Now is a good time to make any corrections. You can do it by clicking “Edit” next to each category.
  • Please note that once you submit your claim online, you will not be able to review or edit it online. You would have to call IDES to correct any mistakes you may have made (800-244-5631).
  • Once you have reviewed everything, you can click on “Submit my application”.