What Is the Unemployment Extension in Illinois?

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In Illinois, eligible partially employed and unemployed workers can file for regular unemployment insurance benefits for up to 26 weeks. If the Illinois Department of Employment Security approves an applicant’s claim for benefits, he may receive benefits after a one-week waiting period. After exhausting his standard benefits during any benefit year, he may apply for extended unemployment benefits under the Extended Benefits Program and Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program.

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Extended Benefits

In Illinois, claimants who exhaust their 26 weeks of regular benefits can file a claim for extended benefits during periods of high unemployment, as defined by the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act. If a claimant qualifies for extended benefits, he will receive the same amount of benefits as he received under the standard 26-week program. The program is not available for more than two weeks if a claimant filed a claim in Illinois and resided in Illinois but subsequently moves to another state.

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Emergency Unemployment Compensation

The federal government provides states with emergency unemployment compensation benefits during periods of high national unemployment rates. As of 2011, Congress extended the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program to 2012, and eligible claimants who exhaust their state benefits are eligible for up to 53 weeks of additional federal unemployment insurance benefits.

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Filing for Extended Benefits

The state’s Extended Benefits Plan allows claimants who exhaust their regular benefits and any federal emergency compensation benefits to file a claim for extended benefits in Illinois. After an eligible claimant exhausts his federal emergency unemployment compensation benefits, the state will automatically establish his claim for extended benefits from the state, and generally, it will notify him of his eligibility for continuing extended benefits within three weeks.

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Total Benefits

Thus, under Illinois’ law and federal law, unemployed claimants can receive between 26 to 99 total weeks of benefits after federal and state extensions. The 99 weeks of total benefits include 26 weeks of regular state unemployment insurance benefits, 53 weeks of emergency unemployment compensation benefits through the federal government and 13 weeks of extended benefits through the federal government and Illinois. To qualify for emergency unemployment compensation and extended benefits, claimants must have exhausted their 53 weeks of emergency benefits and 26 weeks of Illinois’ benefits by December 31, 2011, to qualify for extended benefits. The extended benefits program will terminate on January 1, 2012, in Illinois.

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Considerations

Since state laws can frequently change, do not use this information as a substitute for legal advice. Seek advice through an attorney licensed to practice law in your state.

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