Eligibility for Unemployment in Illinois

Determining eligibility for unemployment requirements in Illinois is important before applying for unemployment insurance (UI). Unemployment insurance eligibility in the state is determined by a number of factors. You may meet qualifications for unemployment in IL if you have worked in the state for a minimum period of time, were separated from employment for reasons that were no fault of your own, earned a certain amount in wages and are currently ready and able to work. Additionally, you must be looking for work while receiving unemployment payments. The purpose of Illinois unemployment eligibility requirements is to ensure that benefits are awarded fairly and that they provide a limited degree of financial stability to individuals looking for new full-time employment. Learn more about unemployment benefits eligibility and get answers to questions like, “What are the requirements to get unemployment?” by reviewing the sections below.

Understanding Eligibility for Unemployment in Illinois

Illinois qualifications for unemployment must be satisfied before you can receive UI benefits. If you meet the state unemployment qualifications, you can enroll in the Illinois unemployment insurance program. Administered by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), the UI program is designed to offer short-term financial assistance to job seekers who are out of work for reasons beyond their control. Under the UI program, those who meet Illinois unemployment insurance eligibility requirements are provided with some income while they seek new employment. The UI program is funded by unemployment taxes from Illinois employers that are collected by the IDES. To learn how to qualify for unemployment in Illinois, download our comprehensive guide today.

What are the requirements to get unemployment in Illinois?

Ensuring you meet eligibility for unemployment insurance in Illinois before learning how to apply for UI benefits can help save you valuable time and effort after you have lost your job. You must meet all state qualifications for unemployment for the entire time that you wish to receive UI payments. As soon as you stop meeting the requirements for eligibility, you will no longer be able to receive benefits. According to unemployment eligibility law in Illinois, you must have held employment in the state for a minimum of one year. To qualify for UI insurance, you also must have earned a certain amount in wages during this time frame. In addition, eligibility for EDD unemployment benefits involves having been separated from your jobs for reasons that were not your fault. To qualify for UI benefits, your unemployment must be involuntary. Involuntary unemployment means that your employment was not terminated due to misbehavior or bad performance. Your termination must have come as the result of a staff reduction, mass layoffs or another such measure. Learn more about who qualifies for unemployment below.

Requirements to Maintain Eligibility for Unemployment in Illinois

If you meet qualifications for unemployment in Illinois, you are required to maintain UI eligibility in order to continue receiving weekly benefit payments. To maintain eligibility for unemployment, you must remain able and willing to work. You must also be actively seeking new employment. Should you find a new, suitable position, you are required to accept it. Your unemployment insurance eligibility will end as soon as you are offered an acceptable position. Under unemployment eligibility rules in Illinois, a suitable position is considered a job that meets wage, hours and working standards of the current job market.

What Are Eligibility for Unemployment Disqualifications in Illinois?

Even if you meet qualifications for unemployment in Illinois, you may be disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits for certain reasons. Examples of eligibility for unemployment disqualifications in Illinois include:

  • Choosing to end suitable employment voluntarily for reasons not associated with your employer. However, you may still be eligible for unemployment if your reason for quitting has to do with unsuitable work, sexual harassment, health concerns or another lawfully exempt situation.
  • Being fired for employee misconduct or committing theft, felony or another crime associated with your work.
  • Being unemployed because a labor dispute that resulted in the cessation of work at your place of employment.
  • Failing to apply or accept a position. This may not be considered an unemployment eligibility disqualification if the offered position would have endangered your health, safety or morals, or met other conditions of unacceptable employment outlined by Illinois law.

What types of jobs meet eligibility for unemployment requirements?

In order to meet eligibility for unemployment requirements in Illinois, you must have been separated from insured employment. You may be someone who qualifies for unemployment if you were terminated from uninsured employment in Illinois. Insured employment is a job provided by a qualifying employer who pays unemployment insurance taxes to the state. Eligibility for IDES unemployment insurance cannot be met by those who have worked an uninsured job. To meet unemployment qualifications in IL, you cannot base UI benefits on any type of work that is not insured. This includes certain agricultural workers, domestic workers, family employees and other types of uninsured labor. Laws regarding IL unemployment program eligibility are complex, but understanding them is essential for submitting a successful UI application. To find out more about unemployment insurance benefits in Illinois, download our free in-depth guide.