Illinois Unemployment Extension

If your Illinois unemployment benefits have run out you may be eligible to receive extended unemployment benefits through one of the state or federal unemployment extension programs.

This federal unemployment extension programs is called Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (Also known as EUC08).

Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08) includes 4 stages, or tiers. Each tier has a different maximum time period for which your unemployment extension will last:

Tier 1 EUC08: 20 week maximum unemployment extension.
Tier 2 EUC08: 14 week maximum unemployment extension.
Tier 3 EUC08: 13 week maximum unemployment extension.
Tier 4 EUC08: 6 week maximum unemployment extension.

If you use up all of your regular unemployment benefits, normally you don't have to apply for an unemployment extension because the system automatically applies for you, if you are eligible. It is very important that you keep track of your benefits to make sure you receive your unemployment extension if you are eligible.

If you get close to your unemployment benefits running out, give your unemployment counselor a call to check to see what you have to do in order to get they unemployment extension.

There is another type of unemployment extension called Federal-State Extended Duration (FED-ED), more commonly referred to as Extended Benefits (EB). You will only qualify for the EB unemployment extension if you have used up all of your regular unemployment benefits and also used up all of your EUC08 unemployment extension.

If you qualify for the EB unemployment extension you will receive additional benefits equal to 20 weeks or 80% of the maximum benefit amount on the original unemployment claim, whichever amount is less.

Still Have Questions?

To go back to the Illinois Unemployment FAQ Page, click here: Illinois Unemployment FAQ

To go the main Illinois Unemployment page, click here: Illinois Unemployment

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If you can't find the answer to your question, you can fill out the comment form below and I will answer your question ASAP, or you can ask the The Unemployment Expert or you can post your question in the Unemployment Forum


# CB 2011-08-04 18:13
I didn't want to post this comment. Because I know you have others who are in the same position that I am in. I just need help. I am one step away from being homeless. Could you please send the info to my email address.

How do I go about applying for the FED-ED. My bills are piling up,which includes lights, gas, rent, not to mentioned I need help paying for that. I have used all of my EUC08. Which expired 8-2010. I really would like to have a job, (So does the other million of people out of work). I was laid off in 2008. Found work as a childcare-provider in 2008 until 2010. Family relocated. I am out of work again. I have sent hundreds of resumes over the internet/in person. No response. I even came across a job posting for a file clerk, believe it or not they require a 4 year degree!!!!This was not even a law firm. This was a storage facility, which store files. Unable to go to school, because I can't afford to obtain a loan. How do you issue loans when there are no jobs out there to pay the loan back. I also find it very offensive, when I hear negative critics think of people that receive unenmployment and aid assistance,"lazy people that don't want to work. I didn't work 37 years and decided, ooh!!! I want to become a lazy person and not work". What advice can you give as well as job placement and assistance. I receive a thousand and one ads for school, but nothing regarding where I can go to a job in person. Nor the assistance to get me there.

Answer this question for me. The employers that post jobs through CareerBuilder,, I am curious and want to know what exactly do they do besides cut and paste "we will review your resume and will contact you if we need further information."

Please use my initials. Thank you.
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# Julie 2011-08-05 16:15
Is it correct that I had to earn money during the year I was receiving unemployment compensation in order to continue to receive the benefit through an extension? I have been told that I will be denied an extension of benefits beyond one year because I did not earn any income from an insured employer. To make things more complicated, I did make 2000.00 during my initial benefit year, but it was through sporadic, part-time self employment that I have had as supplemental income for the past 4 years. The reason I filed a claim was because I lost my primary job which was a full time job for a qualified employer. I know people who have been on unemployment for 2 years and never earned (or reported) anything during the entire 2 years. So can you explain why some people don't have to prove income during their benefit year and others do have to show earnings to get an extension that is supposed to help those that have been unable to find jobs?
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# Jacob j 2012-04-05 16:18
I have exhausted my benefits I have to show work search records I dont know exactly when I applied at vein jobs what do I do
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# braxas 2012-06-11 06:23
Usual unemployment benifits last 26 weeks,the state does require you to look for a job and not just collect U/I benifits.After collecting for 1/2 a year,and possibly going into a second, which I am in now, you should at the very least have head hunters IE:(employment agencys) with your name on file, and a contact person. To be asked for your search record after so much collection, and have nothing..well, if you were on the other side of the desk, what would you think? Start applying to jobs and write everything down, you could use this list to show you have been looking, I dont use their forms, I have enough proof. They can demand ALL the moneys they paid returned for your lack of trying, thats what the proof is for. Dont delay and start keeping accurate records, they want proof for each check they gave you, and you have to keep it for a whole year for their purposes.

Good luck
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# tf 2012-05-31 10:56
My regular UI is about to run out n about 3weeks.I have never had an extension of any kind.I am starting a pt job this weekend & I know i can work pt and collect my UI as long as I make under a certain amount which for me is 200$ per week. My question is since I will b working pt when my UI runs out will I still get my extension r will i b disqualified because I'm working.
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# Sunshine 2012-06-08 21:51
where does it say how you have to look for a job? i have looked all over the ides website and all it says is that you must actively be looking for work. I'm now going into the first extension and was told because i wasn't going face to face with an employer that I would lose my benefits, but the problem is that the ads that I'm qualified for states online aps only and the stores that you go into to fill out applications the stores have a computer there that you have to fill out the aps with. Plus when going into the unemployment office for a meeting they give you a whole list of websites to find a job. now they are saying no online has to be face to face, but no one tells you this and than you the unemployed get screwed out of your benefits.....if anyone knows where i can find this info please send it to me
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# Emily 2012-06-30 02:56
I have been unemployed since last November. My regular benefits ran out about a month ago and I was sent letter saying in order to start receiving tier 1 benefits I needed to go in for a reemployment interview, which I did. At the interview I gave my last 2 weeks of job search records to the person who helped me, edited my joblink account. I was told that was all I needed to do and if there was a problem I would be notified by phone or a letter in the mail. I have continued to certify like I was told to do, but have not received any benefits or notification from IDES. I am running out of money and have necessary bills to pay. What should I do? Was I supposed to do anything else in order to move into tier 1? I am looking for a job and keeping records, but with no luck.
Thanks for your help.
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# Tiffany 2012-11-02 13:56
I have heard thet the Federal Unemployment extension is ending on December 29th of this year. Does that mean that I will have no more benifits after that? I just became unemployed in March of 2012. I have heard of people that have been unemployed for over a year and a half and receiving benifits. Is this true?
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# Jody 2012-11-26 14:14
I just received a letter from Illinois Dept. of Employment Security that the last week for which extended benefits is ending 12/29/12. I was laid off in May 2012. How can I get more unemployment. I have been out here every day applying for a job. No luck so far. Can someone please help me?
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# Shell 2012-11-27 20:08
I am in the same boat as Tiffany. Was fired in March, have gotten 1 extension, applying for jobs daily. I am a single mom & am already behind on rent. I can't figure out how, where or when to apply for fed ext & was told my benefits would shut down Dec 29 weather I had a balance left or not. Any answers? Thank you.
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# Christine 2013-01-20 14:01
I have heard thet the Federal Unemployment extension is ending on December 29th of this year. Does that mean that I will have no more benifits after that? I just became unemployed in May of 2012. I have heard of people that have been unemployed for over a year and a half and receiving benifits. Is this true?
How do I file for extension?
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# Tanya 2013-05-13 09:32
I received a letter informing me that I am eligible for the federal extention. I certified as usual but did not receive payment. My local office informed me that I was not eligible even though I received notice stating otherwise. The local office said I did not have enough in my base period to qualify, but I my question is with regards to the alternative base period which I learned about online. How do I determine if I am eligible for the alternative method?
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# Chrissy Means 2016-07-25 15:11
I apply for UI in June and was denied. I have been actively look for work but still haven't found anything. How long do i have to wait to reapply?
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# Kevin Nelson 2017-08-21 16:22
Can I still get an extension of my unemployment, in 2017?
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# Carmela alfano kyabu 2017-09-09 10:41
My unemployment will run out in 2 months. If I don't find a job by then is there an extention? Will I have to apply for it? I read there are extentions in place but do they still apply today in IL or those are older laws? I hope to not need it but i like to be informed just in case. Thank you.
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# John Daniel 2017-09-15 00:14
Please help me understand how to apply. I ran out of my initial unemployment benefits a month ago and are very close to being homeless. I was told there are no extensions when consulting the Unemployment office. Please help Provide information to me (email) as to how I would apply for EUC08 or FED-ED. Thank You.
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# John Daniel 2017-09-15 00:17
I was told at the office that there are no extensions. I have ran out of my initial unemployment benefits after being laid off after 8yrs of work. I'm close to being homeless and could use any information you might have concerning this. Could you please provide me with information as to how to apply for EUC08 or FED-ED? Thanks.
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# Patricia 2017-10-08 09:12
I have 4 more weeks of unemployment before it runs out. I am trying to start a new career in commercial print and tv/movie background work. I AM now starting to earn consistently, but barely enough to live on. I went to the unemployment office this past week and was told there are NO EXTENTIONS. I still need financial assistance for another few months.

please advise HOW I file for an extention.
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# Patricia 2017-10-16 10:31
How do I qualify or find out if I am eligible for the federal extention? I am trying to launch a career in commercial/print background artist. The work is sporatic at best. I have invested in a photo shoot, professional head shots, composite cards. I need a little more help with unemployment to sustain me for a few more months.
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