Unemployment benefits are designed to provide wage assistance to workers in Chicago who have become unemployed through no fault of their own. That means that if you were fired for cause, you might not qualify for unemployment benefits. You also need to meet specific requirements and apply to get benefits.
Eligibility Requirements for Illinois Unemployment Benefits
You must meet the below requirements to qualify for unemployment benefits.
- Your employment ended for reasons beyond your control or your fault;
- You worked in Illinois for the past 12 months (the period may be longer in some cases);
- You earned a minimum amount of wages based on certain Illinois guidelines;
- You are actively seeking work.
- Your termination must NOT have been based on any “Misconduct”.
You must generally be ready, willing, and able to work if a job is offered to you. Illinois requires some proof of applying for jobs on an ongoing basis to remain eligible for unemployment benefits, even after you qualify initially.
Applying for Unemployment Benefits
You must apply to be eligible for unemployment benefits. Illinois allows online filing and online certification for most unemployment claims.
Your application must be processed and approved before benefits can start. This process can take several weeks or several months in some cases due to the delays caused by our current COVID pandemic. If your application is denied, you have the right to appeal. The appeal process is a bit more complicated compared to the initial application, so having the assistance of an experienced attorney can be very beneficial.
Special COVID-19 Considerations for Unemployment
If you voluntarily quit your job because of COVID-19, either because you refused to comply with the employer’s legal protective measures, or because you did not want to risk exposure though the employer took reasonable precautions, you might not qualify for unemployment benefits. The reason you quit will play a big role in determining whether you are entitled to benefits. If you are confined to your home because of a health condition, for example, you may not qualify for benefits because you were not able to work. Learn more about unemployment benefits and find out whether you qualify by contacting our office: 312-332-6733.