Illinois Unemployment Eligibility

This page provides general guidelines on how to apply for Illinois unemployment benefits. View the unemployment eligibility requirements, the process to file for unemployment in Illinois, how long your benefits last and how to calculate unemployment rate. If you filed your claim and it was disqualified, denied Illinois unemployment. You can apply for Illinois unemployment online at

Illinois Unemployment Benefits

You are eligible for benefits only for weeks in which you meet all of the following conditions and are not subject to disqualification:

How do I file for Illinois unemployment benefits

File a claim online, or visit one of the IDES offices located throughout the state where individuals can file an "initial claim" for benefits, or change their mailing address.

Why fill out the forms if IDES already has my information?
To accurately determine your eligibility, we need to have the most current information, including some that your employer does not routinely report to us. In addition to your name, address and social security number, we often need other information. For instance, we need to know if you had multiple employers, the reason for your separation from work and the number of your dependents.

To certify for (or "claim weeks" of) for unemployment benefits over the phone, using a service called TeleServe, or to find the location and phone number of the nearest IDES office:

Calculating Illinois unemployment benefits

Payments for unemployment benefits can vary from state to state, but calculating how much you will receive is simple enough to figure out for yourself. Most states determine weekly benefits using the base period quarter in which wages are highest, called the High-Quarter Method. The remaining states might use multiple methods based off the Annual-Wage Method to the Average-Weekly-Wage Formula. Because the High-Quarter Method is the most common method of computing benefits, you may be able to use this to help you determine your unemployment benefits.

How can I estimate my unemployment benefit amount

The period that the wage earner worked closes to full time is called the high quarter. This is the period in which wages were the highest. Take the amount earned during that quarter and divide by 13, which is the number of weeks in a calendar quarter. The state determines the percentage of that wage that will be replaced. The weekly wage is divided and the weekly benefit is calculated based on the weekly wage. Depending on the state you live in, the benefit amount may replace one half of the average weekly earnings.

How long do Illinois unemployment benefits last

After the unemployment benefits have been calculated, your state will determine the duration of benefits. Several states establish uniform durations of 26 weeks for all workers who meet qualifying wage requirements, while other states have the flexibility to assign benefits lasting anywhere from 26 to 30 weeks.