Illinois Unemployment Information

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Do NOT apply for your Illinois Unemployment benefits too early.

Make sure your official last day or separation date is today or later before you apply for unemployment. Many larger companies may not officially terminate your employment for 2 weeks or more. If you were not given a written separation date and agreement or are unsure of the separation date, contact your company human resources department to clarify the exact last date of employment.

Apply for Illinois Unemployment benefits in person.

You can apply for Illinois Unemployment in person or online (see below).  To find the closest Illinois Unemployment Office and career center you can enter your zip code online at the One-Stop Career Center service locator.

Enter you zip code, Enter distance you will travel and then Click Search. You will see one or more One-Stop Career Center choices. If you click on a name, you will get detailed information about the days and times of that One-Stop Career Center. 

Apply for Illinois Unemployment benefits on the Internet.

Now you can File your Illinois Unemployment Insurance claim via the Internet. Fast, easy, and no lines. Illinois has improved and expanded internet filing for just about every type of unemployment claims.

Make sure you have at least 30 minutes of dedicated time to fill out the online application. You will need your social security number and employment information.

There are a couple of rather tricky screens and a couple of questions that may seem odd, but make sure you enter all the information needed until you see a completed screen. When the online application is completed, you will be given a confirmation number and effective date of unemployment. Make sure you print this information or save to your disk drive.

You should receive a letter from the Illinois Department of Employment Security within 2 weeks to confirm your Internet claim for unemployment benefits. If you do NOT receive a confirmation letter, you MUST go to a One-Stop Career Center to request help with your unemployment claim. (see above - Apply for Illinois Unemployment benefits in person).

EVERY day - Use the Illinois Skills Match website on the Internet!

When you first signup for the Illinois Skills match website, remember your login name and password. If you cannot remember the login information, you will need to write an email to the Illinois Skills Match systems administrator. To find the closest Illinois Unemployment Office and career center you can enter your zip code online at the One-Stop Career Center service locator.

Illinois Skills Match - ISM - This web site holds thousands of available, qualified job seekers, plus an extensive variety of jobs at every skill level in hundreds of industries and occupations in Illinois. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, ISM automatically selects and matches the best qualified job seekers with the most suitable employers.

EVERY week - Fill out your Work Search Record forms

To receive Illinois unemployment payment you are responsible for maintaining your work search records on the forms provided by IDES on a weekly basis, for up to 26 weeks.

You will be required to produce your work search upon request. Failure to do so may result in denial of benefits. if you come into the local office, be sure to bring your work search record forms with you.

Work Search Records - Instructions and sample forms. Instructions for completing the work search form and tables for recording your work search activities. Copies of this form must be completed for each week of benefits you are claiming.

EVERY 2 weeks - Call TeleServe 1-888-337-7234 to claim your benefits!

To receive unemployment payment you must certify for benefits every two weeks via the Automated System called TeleServe.

The phone number for TeleServe is 1-888-337-7234. TeleServe phone lines are open Monday through Friday from 7:00AM to 7:00 PM.

You do not have to report severance pay. If your last employer has given you a severance pay check or scheduled several severance pay checks, do NOT report this as income wages to Illinois Unemployment. The severance pay checks are considered a gift to you according to Illinois Unemployment.

You should have received a Wage Information Sheet from IDES that listed the call day and call date to make your first call to TeleServe.  If you miss your regular call day, which will be a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, you may call on Thursday or Friday of that same week. You may also call on your regular call day in the following week (or Thursday or Friday of that week) and still be able to file your certification. After your telephone call to Teleserve, you will receive "Statement of Certifications" which will indicate your next call date.

TeleServe pdf doucment  - Information to use TeleServe 

Stop Illinois Unemployment benefits when you find a job.

When you have secured a new job, make sure you notify your nearest Illinois Unemployment office in person. You cannot do this online. To find the closest Illinois Unemployment Office and career center you can enter your zip code online at the One-Stop Career Center service locator.

Besides reporting the new job, you will need to call TeleServe 1-888-337-7234 one more time to report your earnings. Report earnings even if you are paid every 2 weeks or twice a month and have not received a paycheck.

Illinois Unemployment documents online

Illinois Department of Employment Security - IDES documents - Helpful documents for filing for unemployment insurance benefits. Copies of the IDES documents are also available at your local IDES office.

All the documents are PDF files and require the free Adobe Reader software to view, save, and print  copies.

Benefit Rights Information - A few simple rules to avoid Illinois unemployment processing delays.

Tele-Serve (telephone certification) - Tele-Serve is the automated telephone system used every two weeks to certify that you are still eligible for Illinois unemployment benefits. This guide includes detailed instructions for using Tele-Serve.

Summary of Services - Explanation Illinois unemployment services including unemployment insurance at the IDES.

Work Search Records - Instructions and sample forms. Instructions for completing the work search form and tables for recording your work search activities. Copies of this form must be completed for each week of benefits you are claiming.

Equal Opportunity Statement - Notice of IDES responsibility to observe all federal laws for equal opportunity.

Other Illinois Unemployment web sites

Illinois Department of Employment Security - IDES - The main web page for Illinois workforce services: job placement and referrals, unemployment insurance, employment and training programs, career and labor market information, payroll tax filing, and more!

Illinois Career Resource Network - Several tools to let you use career exploration products for elementary, middle and high school students and adults - for anyone making career decisions.

Illinois Career Resource Network - Career Information System - Trying to decide on a career? We offer a variety of career exploration products for elementary, middle and high school students and adults - for anyone making career decisions.

Illinois Career Resource Network - Career Click - Provides information on approximately 700 occupations in Illinois that are divided into sixteen Career Clusters. View occupation descriptions, salaries, Illinois employment levels, employment forecasts, and other occupation information. The occupation information will help clarify career choices.

Illinois Career Resource Network - Countdown - Interest Survey with 70 questions that will identify occupations to match your interests. Detailed descriptions of hundreds of occupations including tasks, wages, settings and outlook.

Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) - The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is charged with enhancing Illinois' economic competitiveness by providing technical and financial assistance to businesses, local governments, workers and families.

Illinois Department of Corrections - The mission of the Department of Corrections is to protect the public from criminal offenders through a system of incarceration and supervision which securely segregates offenders from society, assures offenders of their constitutional rights and maintains programs to enhance the success of offenders' reentry into society.

Illinois Department of Professional Regulation (IDFPR) - Committed to protecting Illinois citizens in their dealing with the industries and professions that IDFPR regulates and licenses.

Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) - The primary responsibility of IDOR is to serve as the tax collection agency for state government and for local governments. The department also regulates riverboat gaming and the state's horse racing industry, administers the state' lottery, and regulates the manufacture, distribution and sale of alcoholic beverages. The department also oversees local property tax assessments, collects delinquent child support on behalf of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, and functions as the funding agent for the Illinois Housing Development Authority.

Illinois Labor Market Information - LMI - Complete labor market reports, data and publications which can be viewed online or saved on your computer.

Illinois Skills Match - ISM - Maintains the fastest growing pool of thousands of available, qualified job seekers, plus an extensive variety of jobs at every skill level in hundreds of industries and occupations in Illinois. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, ISM automatically selects and matches the best qualified job seekers with the most suitable employers.

Illinois Workforce Development System - IWDS - Search Illinois' statewide list of WIA-certified training programs. Compare performance among Illinois' WIA-certified training programs.

State of Illinois Website - Illinois Governor Website

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