Information on Unemployment Insurance Extensions in Illinois

When there are high percentages of unemployment, unemployment extensions are enacted to further help you while you search for employment. In Illinois, you can receive both Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) and Extended Benefits (EB) after you've exhausted your normal benefits. Both extension levels are run through the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), which manages your eligibility and distributes your payments. You'll receive the same amount of payments as normal benefits, but you can receive up to 66 weeks of these extra benefits through extensions.

  1. Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC)

    • Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) covers extensions of unemployment underwritten by the federal government. Even though the funds for these payments come from the federal government, the IDES manages eligibility and distributes the payments. After your regular Illinois unemployment benefits are exhausted, EUC is the next level of benefits. How long you can collect EUC depends on the guidelines distributed by Congress at the time of your claim. However, currently, Illinois claimants can collect up to 53 additional weeks of benefits through EUC.

    Extended Benefits (EB)

    • Once you've exhausted your EUC benefits, the next extension program is Illinois Extended Benefits (EB). These are benefits paid for by the state of Illinois for an additional 13 weeks. Once you've reached the EB level, the job search requirements are more stringent than for normal benefits and EUC. You must search for any work you can perform, whether it falls within your experience or not. The IDES mails you a job search form each time you certify for benefits, and you must return it with information on all of the jobs you applied to for the two weeks prior to remain eligible for benefits.

    Applying for an Extension

    • Unlike some states, Illinois doesn't require that you fill out a new claims application for each level of unemployment extensions. Instead, when you are close to exhausting your current claim, they review your information and automatically sign you up for the next level of extensions. You'll receive a notice of determination in the mail either approving or denying your extended benefits. If approved, it will give you the number of weeks you qualify for and the steps to receive each payment.

    Extension Payment Information

    • While on Illinois EUC or EB, you'll receive the same benefit payment amount as you did on regular unemployment. The way you receive your benefits doesn't change either. If you're already signed up for direct deposit, it continues unless you request a change. On your normal designated biweekly day, you call into the Teleserve hotline or log into the website to certify for payment. Answer the questions about your continued eligibility, including whether you're searching for a job or earning any income. Your payment arrives three days later.

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