Amount and Duration of Unemployment Compensation in Illinois

Learn how much you can receive in unemployment benefits in Illinois.

By , J.D. · UC Berkeley School of Law

In Illinois, your weekly benefit amount is determined by adding together your earnings in the two quarters of the base period when you earned the most, taking 47% of that total, then dividing the result by 26. The current maximum weekly unemployment benefit in Illinois is $484 per week with no dependents. If you have dependents, the maximum increases to $693.

For example, let's say Todd had a steady job during the entire base period, earning $20,000 per year. In the highest paid two quarters, he earned $10,000 total. The state agency will take 47% of that amount ($4,700) and divide it by 26 to come up with his weekly benefit: $180 and change. Benefits are available for up to 26 weeks, or longer during periods of higher unemployment or national emergency.

Illinois also offers an allowance to filers who are married and whose spouses don't work. You may claim the nonworking spouse allowance or the dependent child allowance, but not both. (To find out the current amounts of these extra benefits, contact the Illinois Department of Employment Security.)

How to File a Claim for Unemployment Benefits in Illinois

You may file your claim online or at a local IDES office. (You can find your local office by entering your zip code at the online office locator.) Once it reviews your application, the IDES will send you a finding indicating whether your claim has been granted or denied and how much you will receive in benefits.

If your claim is granted, you will be assigned a "certification day" when you must contact the agency to certify that you have met the eligibility requirements for the previous week, and then request benefits.

How to Appeal a Denial of Unemployment Benefits in Illinois

If your claim is denied or if at any time you are denied benefits (for example, because the agency finds that you were not actively searching for work), you may appeal the decision within 30 days after the letter of denial is mailed to you. After receiving your appeal request, the IDES will schedule a hearing before a referee. Following the hearing, the referee will make a decision and mail it to you.

If you disagree with the decision after the hearing, you may appeal it to the Board of Review, a five-member panel. You must do so within 30 days after the date of the referee's decision. If you disagree with the Board's decision, you may file an appeal in the Circuit Court for your county.

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