How to Certify With Illinois Unemployment


Your Illinois unemployment claim is built on a series of claims. Your initial claim acts as the application for benefits. Once approved, you have to file a weekly claims certification for each week of benefits you wish to collect. Illinois is one of the states that has a biweekly schedule that you’re assigned when you’re approved for benefits. On your designated day, you must use the phone or Internet system to answer eligibility questions about each of the two previous weeks. Once the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) reviews your answers, it release your payments accordingly.

Things You'll Need

  • Social Security number

By Phone

Call 1-888-337-7234 on a land-line phone. Select the option to file your weekly claim certification. Use your Social Security number and the PIN you created when you filed your initial claim to log into the certification system.

Use the keys on the phone to answer each certification question the automated system presents. Press the 1 key for yes and the 2 key for no. Enter the amounts in whole dollars before any deductions if asked to enter a compensation amount.

Write down the confirmation number given to you after you have answered all of the questions about your claim. Disconnect the call only after the automated system has confirmed you have completed your certification.


Open the IDES website on your computer. Click “File My Certification.” Log into the online certification system using your Social Security number and PIN (see Resources). Click the “Claim Certification.”

Answer each of the certification questions listed on the next page by using the drop-down menus or entering amounts. Use whole dollars of the amounts before any deductions when inputting money amounts. Click “File My Claim” when you have answered all the questions.

Print the confirmation page that appears next or write down the confirmation number for future reference.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you're using the online system to certify, you must use a PC with Internet Explorer and Adobe Acrobat Reader 4.0 or higher. If you don't have any of these, use the phone method instead.
  • Do not click the "Back" button while certifying online because it will lose your claim. Instead, use the links at the bottom of the page that direct you to go back if you need to make a correction.
  • If you make a mistake while certifying through either method, call the claims line (1-800-244-5631) as soon as possible and choose the option to speak to an agent.

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