Illinois Unemployment Requirements

In order to start your unemployment, IL unemployment requirements include the following:

1. You are totally unemployed. Depending on your vocation and industry, you may qualify for unemployment if you have had your hours reduced.
2. You have worked and earned a minimum amount of wages in work covered by unemployment tax during the past 18 months.
3. You have lost your job through no fault of your own. If you were laid-off you will qualify for unemployment. In most cases, if you were fired for cause - you will not be eligible to collect unemployment. If you were fired for cause, you SHOULD apply for unemployment anyway, just in case you are eligible to get it.
4. You are able and available for work. If you are unable to work because of disability or medical condition, you may not meet the Illinois unemployment requirements, but you should apply anyway. If you are not eligible for unemployment, you may be eligible to collect disability benefits, and the case worker at the unemployment office will be able to direct you on how to apply for disability.
5. You are registered for work at your local Workforce Development Center. You must do this when you apply for unemployment, and every week when you certify your weekly claim.
6. You are actively seeking work. You must apply to a minimum of two jobs per week.

To continue receiving weekly unemployment benefits, IL unemployment requirements state that you must file a 'weekly claim' by doing the following:

1. Meet all of the IL unemployment requirements listed above.
2. Apply for at least two jobs each week.
3. Contact the Illinois unemployment office to file your 'weekly claim'. You can do this via phone or on the internet.

Toll Free: (800) 244-5631 IDES - Illinois Department of Employment Security Office Illinois Unemployment Website

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

Maybe We Can Help: 

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


# Ashley 2011-04-14 11:05
I was employed for 2 1/2 years and when my employer shortly after they found out I was pregnant they forced me on medical leave. Once I was out for more than six months they fired me. My union granted me a longer leave and the company turned it down. Now 6 weeks after my baby was born they called and asked if I wanted to come back, but only at part time instead of full time like I was working. If I say "no" and don't go back because of the way I was treated will it affect me filling for unemployment? I thought employers couldn't fire women for being pregnant?
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
# Patrick 2011-07-28 14:52
Can you collect unemployment and retirement pay at the same time?
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
# Daniel 2011-08-16 16:34
If my employer can not consistently provide more than 15-20 hrs. per week, am i at all eligible for any unemployment services.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
# Jack 2011-10-24 11:51
Hello, ive been working at a company for a little bit over 6 months and I dislike it because its a hostile and abusive environment. Im thinking of quiting because i cant handle this anymore. My question is am I eligible since Ive only worked here for 6 months
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
# Jessica 2012-07-14 18:14
I recently graduated from law school and I am taking the bar exam the end of July. Can I apply for unemployment? I am actively applying for jobs as I study for the bar.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
# Ms Chicago 2012-08-15 11:30
I don't believe so. In order to receive benefits you need to have been employed within a company for at least six month.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
# Steve B. 2012-09-29 16:44
I have myofacial pain and arthritis setting up in my joints as a result of a car accident 2 1/2 yars ago. I have steadily been declining in the strength in my arms and legs and my job requires that I do manual labor. I asked repeatedly for work modifications but could not get them from my employer. I went out on a leave of absence for the last 6 months and no they require me to come back or loose my insurance/job. They will not modify my hours/work to accomodate. I have worked there for 7 years. Do I qualify for some unemployment benefits/disability?
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
# Stephanie M 2012-10-02 23:02
I lost my job for taking off too much medical time, was approved for LTD through my private insurance, and want to know if I can collect unemployment since LTD only pays a fraction of my salary.
thank you
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
# Eric S 2012-11-01 10:56
Can I collect unemployment if I was a contract/temp employee for 12 months? My original agreement states a 5 month assignment, but I was asked to stay longer and did not sign a new agreement.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
# sarah 2012-11-08 16:45
I was employeed by my employer for almost six years. I had a disagreement with a waitress and a cook outside of work. They had brought the argument to work. I was harrassed all nite by three employes. I worked my shift with my boss doing nothing about the situation. So the next day i quit. I have been unemployeed for.two months now and always applying places. Thru thr grapevine i have heard my previous employer telling they places i am a bad employee and never showed up.for work. Can i do anythng about this??
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
# Jason312 2012-11-24 15:53
I worked for a trading company and was let go 2 years ago. I have been daytrading since and now need to find work. Is there any way I can file for unemployment even though its been more than 18 months since being employed?
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
# gary 2012-12-14 15:40
we are being laid off last two weeks of dec and first three weeks of jan.the company krupp in danville is telling us they will pay our holiday bonus half each week in dec so we will not be eligable for unemployment .They also say that we are required to take all vacation pay in jan before we are eligable for unemployment. as i have 3 weeks vacation i can not recieve unemployment is it required by the state that i take all vacation pay before i recieve unemployment kb9da
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
# Tom 2013-01-22 17:56
I was conned (Bait-and-switched) into taking a job with a staffing agency. The duties I was told I would be performing are completely different from the duties I have ended up performing.

The work environment is hostile, and the management works on a quota system boosted by threatening people with their jobs if they perceive the quota is not being met.

I have been here two months, and I am waking up and showing up to work with nauseous stomachs and headaches. All I can think about when i'm off work is work and whether i'll have a job when I show up to work. I am looking for other jobs, but I don't know if I can stick this out until I find another job.

If I were to leave because of how poorly this is affecting my health, mentally and physically, would I apply for unemployment benefits? Or would I need to work for a longer period of time before qualifying?
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
# Lori 2013-04-03 21:38
My husband works construction and was laid off for 4 weeks and we collected unemployment benefits, then he went back for 1 week and was off the next week. I thought that i could just recertify, but because he made too much on the week that he worked i had to open a whole new claim. I waited a week before i realized that is what i needed to do, so when i go in to file a new claim it is for this weeK. I need it to ask me about his work from last week? is it to late to open a new claim for last week?
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
# School Employee 2013-04-05 09:54
I have been employed as a 12 month employee with a school district and was honorable reduced to an 11 month position. Can I claim unemployment for the one month I am now laid off and without income?
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
# edward 2013-05-06 19:51
I quit my job recently because I couldn't eat or sleep. I felt sick and tired everyday. I was doing to work of two people while everyone else was not doing their job. I got no help from no one. they have tripled my work load in the last 6 months. they have hired people and got additional help but not for me. management will not do anything and they know whats going on and will not help. could I get unemployment?
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
# Chloe 2013-07-30 03:42
I have been employed with the company for about a year, I was fired because of attendance. Would I be able to get unemployment benefits?
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
# Nick 2013-07-26 10:36
I got a random drug test that came back non- negative and was fired on the spot. I had been with company for 15 months. Will I be eligible for unemployment?
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
# Kim Hilt 2017-06-20 06:57
If I worked for one company for 6 years and then started working immediately after with another company for 7 months am I elibable for unemployment?
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote

Add comment

If you have a question about your unemployment situation, or about unemployment in general, please post it here and we will try to answer it as quickly as possible, and post our reply here so that others can benefit from your question.
Also, we welcome your comments -- please tell us about your unemployment situation. Tell your story. How did you get laid-off? Have you found a new job yet? Do you have any unemployment tips to share?
- -*-
PLEASE NOTE that your comment will not post automatically, but will appear after the admin has approved it.
- -*-

Security code