Unemployment Insurance Benefits Handbook

 
State of Illinois

Department of Employment Security

Unemployment
Insurance Benefits
Handbook
Table of Contents

Protect Your Benefits ............................................................................................................ 2
Unemployment Insurance Benefits .................................................................................... 2
Insured Work ........................................................................................................................ 3
Uninsured Work ................................................................................................................... 3
Are You Eligible for Benefits? .............................................................................................. 4
When and Where to File ..................................................................................................... 8
Information Needed to File for Benefits ............................................................................ 8
What “Able to and Available for Work” Means ................................................................. 9
Actively Looking for Work................................................................................................... 9
Claiming Children as Dependents ..................................................................................... 10
Claiming a Spouse as a Dependent .................................................................................... 10
What Happens When You File Your New Claim for Benefits? ...................................... 11
Benefits Paid for Weeks ....................................................................................................... 12
Receiving Benefit Payments Via Direct Deposit .............................................................. 12
Receiving Benefit Payments Via Debit Card ..................................................................... 12
Certify for Benefits Using “Tele-Serve” ............................................................................. 13
Scheduled Appointments .................................................................................................... 13
If You Report by Mail ........................................................................................................... 15
If You Are Unable to Work .................................................................................................. 15
If You Move ........................................................................................................................... 15
When You Return to Work ................................................................................................. 15
Lost Debit Cards ................................................................................................................... 15
If You Are Overpaid ............................................................................................................. 16
False or Misleading Information ........................................................................................ 16
If Your Claim Is Contested .................................................................................................. 16
If Your Claim Is Denied at Any Time—Your Appeal Rights .......................................... 17
What Happens to Your Appeal? ......................................................................................... 17
Employer Appeal Rights ...................................................................................................... 18
How Your Benefits Are Determined .................................................................................. 18
Your Base Period ................................................................................................................... 19
Total Weekly Benefits ........................................................................................................... 20
Total Yearly Benefits ............................................................................................................. 20
Partial Benefits—Part-Time Work ..................................................................................... 20
Figuring Partial Benefits ...................................................................................................... 21
Interstate Benefits ................................................................................................................. 21
Combined Wage Claim ........................................................................................................ 22
United States Government Employees .............................................................................. 22
U.S. Military Veterans .......................................................................................................... 23
Trade Assistance Benefits .................................................................................................... 25
Profiling and Referral to Reemployment Services ........................................................... 25
Report Your Return to Work Immediately ....................................................................... 26
Final Tips for Filing .............................................................................................................. 26
Benefits May Be Taxable ...................................................................................................... 27
Your Social Security Number Is Required ......................................................................... 27
Fax Lines for Customers ...................................................................................................... 29
IDES Resources Online ........................................................................................................ 30
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS

    Introduction

    This publication provides detailed instructions on how job seekers can apply
    for unemployment insurance benefits.

    The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) collects
    unemployment insurance taxes from the state’s liable employers and returns
    those dollars to eligible Illinois workers as unemployment insurance benefits.
    IDES also operates an employment service and other special programs for the
    unemployed and underemployed and matches employer labor needs with the
    skills of job seekers.

    To find out more about IDES or for additional copies of this brochure, visit us
    on the Internet at www.ides.illinois.gov.

    Where to Find IDES Services

    All IDES services are available through more than 50 local IDES offices and
    Illinois workNet Centers throughout Illinois. To find an office near you, call
    1-888-367-4382.

    Nondiscrimination

    IDES is an equal opportunity employer and complies with all state and federal
    nondiscrimination laws in the administration of its programs. Auxiliary
    aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.
1   Contact your IDES office manager or the IDES Equal Opportunity Officer at
    (312) 793-9290 or TTY (888) 340-1007.
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS

    Protect Your Benefits

    Many unemployed workers lose their benefits for a week or more because they
    do not follow the instructions in this booklet. Mistakes in filing claims can
    delay payment of your benefits. If you do not understand these instructions,
    ask for assistance at your local IDES office or Illinois workNet Center. You are
    entitled to be represented in all matters relating to your claim by a person or
    organization of your choice. Information concerning your claim can be given to
    your representative only if that representative shows evidence of authorization
    from you.

    Unemployment
    Insurance Benefits                          does not protect you against wage
                                                losses while you are absent from
    Unemployment insurance is a                 work due to illness or while you are
    state-operated insurance program            idle by choice.
    designed to partially compensate
    you for loss of wages when you are          Unemployment insurance should
    out of work. Like fire, accident,           not be confused with Social
    health and other types of insurance,        Security, which is a federal program
    it is for an emergency: when you            to protect you and your dependents
    are temporarily or permanently out          against loss of earnings upon
    of a job or if you work less than full      retirement, permanent disability
    time because of lack of work.               or death. You pay for Social
                                                Security partially through payroll
    The program ensures that, if you            deductions; you do not pay any
    meet the eligibility requirements of        part of your wages, either directly
    the law, you will have some income          or through payroll deductions,
2   while you are looking for a job, up         for unemployment insurance in
    to a maximum of 26 full weeks in            Illinois. Unemployment insurance
    a one-year period. Unemployment             benefits are funded by tax dollars
    insurance, however, cannot and              collected from Illinois employers.
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS

    Insured Work                               Uninsured Work

    If you qualify for unemployment            There are some types of work that
    insurance, you will receive benefits       may not be insured in Illinois and
    based on insured work. Insured work        other types of work that are insured
    is work performed for an employer          for some employers but not insured
    who is subject to the law — one            for others.
    who is required to make payments
    to the state under the Illinois            Wages paid for work that is not
    Unemployment Insurance Act.                insured cannot be used as a basis for
                                               claiming benefits. Some examples:
    The biweekly payments to you are
    known as benefits. To qualify for          1.   Agricultural workers who are
    benefits, you must meet eligibility             covered are those who worked
    requirements. If you do, benefits               for an employing unit that paid
    will be paid to you as a matter                 at least $20,000 in cash wages
    of right. Benefits are not based                to these employees during any
    on need; they are not charity or                calendar quarter or employed
    welfare.                                        10 or more individuals within
                                                    each of 20 or more calendar
    In Illinois, the unemployment                   weeks within either the current
    insurance program is administered               or preceding calendar year.
    by IDES, and services are provided              Other agricultural workers are
    to the public at local IDES offices             not covered.
    throughout the state.
                                               2.   Domestic workers who are
    If you become unemployed, you                   covered are those who worked
    may file a claim at your nearest                for an employing unit that paid
    IDES office or online at                        at least $1,000 in cash wages for
    www.ides.illinois.gov. To find the              any domestic services in any
    office nearest you, call (800) 244-             calendar quarter in either the
    5631.                                           current or preceding calendar
                                                    year. Other domestic workers
    You should file your claim during               are not covered.
3   the first week after you have become
    unemployed, or as soon thereafter as       3.   Railroad work covered by
    possible. The longer you delay filing,          the Railroad Unemployment
    the more benefits you may lose.                 Insurance Act is not insured.
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS

    4.   Certain family employment,             Are You Eligible for Benefits?
         such as a person working for
         a spouse, a parent working for         Unemployment insurance, like
         a son or daughter or a son or          other forms of insurance, requires
         daughter under 18 working for          that certain eligibility conditions be
         a parent, is not covered.              met before your claim can be paid.
                                                These conditions are designed to
    5.   Work as an insurance agent             ascertain that you have been recently
         or solicitor paid solely on            employed and are now unemployed
         a commission basis is not              through no fault of your own.
         covered.
                                                ELIGIBILITY
    6.   Some government work in                You are eligible for benefits only for
         special job situations (elected        weeks in which you meet all of the
         officials) or those hired to work      following conditions and are not
         for a short period following a         subject to disqualification:
         disaster may not be covered.
                                                1.   You were unemployed during
    7.   Federal, state or locally funded            that week.
         work relief / work training are
         not covered.                           2.   You were paid $1,600 or more
                                                     in wages during your base
    8.   Also not covered are direct                 period for insured work (please
         sellers of consumer products                see page 19.)
         on a buy-sell basis, by
         direct commission or any               3.   You were paid at least $440 of
         similar basis in a home or                  your base period wages at any
         in an establishment other                   time during the base period
         than a permanent retail                     outside the calendar quarter in
         establishment.                              which your wages were highest.

    There are some other types of work          4.   During the week, you were
    that are not insured under the                   able to work, available for work
    Illinois program but may be under                and actively looking for work.
4   another state (see page 21) or the               (Please see page 9.)
    federal government. If you have
    any questions, consult your local           5.   You were registered for work
    IDES staff.                                      with IDES.
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS

    6.   You filed your claim for the       2.   You were discharged for
         week as scheduled using IDES’           misconduct connected with
         automated Tele-Serve system             your work.
         or as otherwise directed by
         your local IDES office.            3.   You failed, without good cause,
                                                 to apply for or accept a suitable
    7.   You have served one “waiting            job offered to you. Under the
         week.” The “waiting week” is a          law, a job is not suitable if:
         qualifying period required by
         law, and benefits are not paid          a. The job opening exists
         for this week. It is usually the        because of a labor dispute.
         first week for which you file
         your claim. To obtain credit            b. The wages, hours or other
         for the waiting week you must           working conditions of the job
         meet all the requirements               are not as good as those that
         listed above and not be subject         exist for the same kind of work
         to disqualification.                    in the same community.

    DISQUALIFICATIONS                            c. Your safety, health or morals
    Even though you meet the                     may be endangered.
    eligibility conditions listed above,
    you will not be eligible for benefits        d. You would have to resign
    if you are disqualified. You will be         from or be prevented from
    disqualified if:                             joining a union to get or keep
                                                 the job.
    1.   You quit your job without
         good cause attributable                 e. You would displace another
         to your employer, unless                worker under a collective
         you quit because of one                 bargaining agreement and
         of these reasons: health,               cause that person to be laid off.
         sexual harassment, domestic
         violence, unsuitable work,         (Note: If any of the first three
         acceptance of another job,         disqualifications apply to you,
         failure to exercise bumping        you will not be eligible for future
5        privileges or the need to          benefits until you find another
         accompany a spouse in the          job and earn an amount equal to
         military.                          or more than your weekly benefit
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS

    amount in each of four calendar                  been or will be paid or your
    weeks (there are also a few types                employer is obligated to pay
    of work that cannot be used to                   wages in the form of vacation
    requalify) and lose that job for a               pay, vacation allowance or
    non-qualifying reason.)                          stand-by pay for an announced
                                                     shutdown for inventory
    4.   You were discharged because                 or vacation purposes or if,
         you committed a felony or theft             in connection with your
         in connection with your work.               separation, the employer makes
         You may be denied all benefits              or will make such payment and
         based on wages paid you up to               files a timely designation of the
         the date of your discharge.                 period covered by the pay or
                                                     for which you receive wages
    5.   You are unemployed because                  in lieu of notice or a back-pay
         a labor dispute has caused a                award.
         stoppage of work at the place
         where you work. You may                8.   For the same week for
         be denied benefits until the                which you claim benefits,
         stoppage ends. If you can                   you are receiving workers’
         show that you and all the                   compensation for a temporary
         other workers in your grade                 total disability equal to or
         or classification were not                  more than the unemployment
         participating in or directly                insurance benefits you
         interested in the labor dispute,            could draw for the week. If
         you will not be denied                      the amount is less than the
         benefits even though there is a             benefits, you may be paid the
         stoppage.                                   difference.

    6.   For the same week for which            9.   Since the beginning of your
         you claim Illinois benefits, you            prior benefit year (please see
         are receiving unemployment                  page 19) in which you were
         benefits from another state or              paid benefits, you have not
         under a federal law such as                 earned the required amount
         the Railroad Unemployment                   to qualify for a second year of
6        Insurance Act.                              benefits.

    7.   For any week for which you             10. You will be paid or have
         claim benefits, you have                   received a retirement pension
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS

    or other similar periodic                 the pension and the weekly
    payment (including Social                 benefit amount is $331.00. The
    Security) for the week for                formula is as follows:
    which you claim benefits.
    One-half of your Social
                                       $1030.50 ÷ 30 = $34.35... Daily Amount
    Security or retirement
    pension payment (if paid for
                                       $34.35 x 7 = $240.45 ...... Weekly
    in part by your base period
                                                                   Retirement
    or chargeable employer) or
                                                                   Amount
    all of a retirement pension
    payment (if the base period or
                                       $240.45÷2 = $120.225..... 50% of Weekly
    chargeable employer paid all
                                                                            Amount
    of its cost) is deducted from
                                       $331.00 - $120.225 =
    your unemployment insurance
                                       $210.775 ........................... Round to Next
    benefits.
                                                                            Highest Dollar
                                       Benefit amount after
    Retirement pension/Social
                                       retirement deductions ... $211.00
    Security is determined
    by using the following
    calculation: monthly amount         11. Your claim is based on
    of pension is divided by                wages that were earned while
    thirty (30) then multiplied             you worked for an educational
    by seven (7), which is the              institution as a teacher,
    weekly pension amount. If               researcher or administrator,
    the employer paid any part              you are between academic
    of the pension, then the                terms or you are on vacation
    weekly amount is divided by             or a holiday recess and you
    two (2) to determine one-               have the reasonable assurance
    half (50%). Primary Social              of returning the following
    Security benefits are always            term. However, educational
    50% deductible from your                personnel might qualify for
    unemployment insurance                  unemployment insurance
    benefit amount.                         benefits between and within
                                            an academic term if they have
7   For example, an individual              sufficient non-academic wages.
    receives $1030.50 a month in            You will be disqualified if you
    retirement pension, of which            worked for any educational
    the employer paid part of               institution as a bus driver,
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS

        crossing guard, cafeteria worker,    Information Needed to File for
        clerk, etc. and you are between      Benefits
        academic terms and there is
        reasonable assurance that you        •   Verification of your Social
        will return to such work in the          Security number
        term that immediately follows.
        Academic personnel might also        •   Names and addresses of past
        be disqualified during a period          employers and the number of
        of paid sabbatical leave.                days worked for each

    12. You are a professional athlete,      •   Records showing wages earned,
        you are between sport seasons            including dismissal wages and
        and there is reasonable                  vacation pay
        assurance that you will return to
        athletic services.                   •   Records of any pension
                                                 payments you are receiving,
    13. Your benefits would be based             including Social Security
        upon wages earned while you
        were an alien who was not a          •   Any odd-job or part-time
        permanent resident or did not            earnings while you are
        have a work permit.                      unemployed

    When and Where to File                   •   Your spouse’s employment
                                                 status and Social Security
    File your claim for unemployment             number
    insurance benefits during the
    first week after you have become         •   Names, birth dates and Social
    unemployed.                                  Security Numbers of your
                                                 children, including stepchildren,
    You can file for benefits online at          adopted children under 18,
    www.ides.illinois.gov or at a local          disabled children regardless of
    IDES office. If you are uncertain            age and any child of whom you
    about your eligibility for benefits,         have court-ordered custody
    ask your local IDES office for further       (bring a copy of court order)
8   information. You must also register
    for job placement service at an IDES     If, within the past two years, you
    office or online at www.Illinois         have worked (1) in a state other than
    JobLink.com.                             Illinois, (2) for a railroad, (3) for
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS

    the federal government or (4) if you           chances of getting a job are
    have served in the armed forces, tell          definitely not as good as those
    the claimstaker.                               in the community you left.

    (Note: The law provides jail              6.   The kind of wages, hours or
    sentences and fines if you attempt             work conditions you insist on
    to obtain benefits fraudulently by             unreasonably limit the chances
    withholding pertinent information              of your getting a job.
    or by making false statements with
    regard to your claim.)                    7.   Your main occupation is that
                                                   of a student in attendance at
    What “Able to and                              or on vacation from school.
    Available for Work” Means                      However, you may be eligible
                                                   for benefits if you are attending
    The law states that you must be able           an approved training course
    to and available for work during any           to help you get a job under
    week for which you claim benefits.             specified circumstances. If you
    This means that, during the week,              are enrolled in such a course,
    you must have been willing,                    inform an IDES representative
    ready and able to accept a suitable            in the local IDES office.
    job. Normally this means a full-
    time job. You are not able to and         Actively Looking for Work
    available for work if:
                                              The law states that you must be
    1.   You are sick and cannot work         actively looking for work on your
         on any day.                          own initiative. You must register
                                              with the Illinois Employment
    2.   You are away on vacation.            Service at a local IDES office, or
                                              you may register at our Internet site
    3.   You must stay at home to keep        at www.IllinoisJobLink.com. Your
         house or care for your family.       work preferences and skills will be
                                              matched to available job openings.
    4.   You have retired and will not        Staff members are available at the
         accept a suitable job.               IDES offices to provide assistance
9                                             with your job search. In addition,
    5.   After losing your last job,          you will be expected to regularly
         you move to and stay in              inform IDES about:
         a community where your
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS

     1.   What you are doing to find                 unable to work because of
          work.                                      illness or other disability
                                                     during the 90 days prior to the
     2.   The kind of work you have                  first day of each week for which
          been seeking.                              you file a claim for benefits.

     3.   Your prospects of being hired.        4.   The child is your natural child,
                                                     your stepchild or your adopted
     Keep a record of the dates and                  child, or the child is in your
     places you apply for work. At the               custody by court order.
     time you file your claim, you will
     be provided with a work search             5.   You provided more than one-
     document to record your efforts                 half of the support for the child
     to find work. If your period of                 for the 90 days prior to the first
     unemployment becomes extended,                  day of each week for which you
     you may have to consider altering               file a claim for benefits (or for
     your requirements to improve your               the duration of the relationship
     chances of finding work.                        if it existed for less than 90
                                                     days) or you provided at least
     Claiming Children as                            one-quarter of the support if
     Dependents                                      you and your spouse together
                                                     provided more than one-half
     You may claim a child as a                      the support and were members
     dependent if all of the following               of the same household.
     conditions apply:
                                                If you were prevented by illness or
     1.   The child has not been                injury from supporting your child or
          claimed as a dependent by             children during the 90-day period
          anyone else during the past           but were legally obligated to support
          year.                                 them, you are considered to have
                                                supported them.
     2.   The child is not a member of
          the same family in which one          Claiming a Spouse as a
          child has been claimed as a           Dependent
10        dependent by the other parent.
                                                You may claim your spouse as
     3.   The child is under 18 years           a dependent if she/he does not
          of age, or, if older, has been        have enough wages of their own
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS

     to qualify for benefits and you            3.   You will be informed that
     provided more than one-half of                  you must actively look for
     your spouse’s support for the 90                work and must maintain your
     days prior to the first day of each             work search efforts on a form
     week for which you file a claim for             provided by this agency. This
     benefits.                                       document must be produced if
                                                     requested by this agency.
     However, if your marriage took
     place less than 90 days before             A determination that you were
     the first day of the benefit week,         actively seeking work during a
     you may claim your spouse as a             week being claimed is subject to
     dependent if he/she does not have          reconsideration. (The determination
     enough wages to qualify for benefits       may be reconsidered despite
     and you have provided more than            the fact that you have been paid
     one-half of their support since the        benefits or returned to work since
     date of the marriage.                      then.) In order to preserve evidence
                                                that you were actively seeking work,
     If you were prevented by illness or        do not discard your written work
     injury from supporting your wife or        search record for any week being
     husband during the 90-day period           claimed until 53 weeks have passed
     but were legally obligated to provide      from the end of that week. Further,
     support, you are considered to have        if there is an appeal pending
     supported her or him.                      regarding your active work search
                                                for a week, keep your written work
     You cannot claim both a dependent          search record until there has been a
     spouse and a dependent child.              final resolution of the matter.

     What Happens When You File                 After your claim is filed, IDES
     Your New Claim for Benefits?               prepares and sends you a statement
                                                called a finding. The finding shows:
     1.   After you file your claim, you
          will be assigned a call day to        1.   The wages you were paid by
          certify for weeks of benefits.             each employer in each calendar
                                                     quarter of your base period
11   2.   You will be required to register           for insured work and the total
          for work with the Illinois                 wages paid to you during the
          Employment Service.                        base period.
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS

     2.   The ending date of your             Receiving Benefit Payments via
          benefit year.                       Direct Deposit

     3.   Your weekly benefit amount.         Claimants can opt to receive
                                              benefit payments by direct deposit
     4.   Your maximum amount of              or debit card. Direct deposit is a
          benefits.                           more convenient and reliable way
                                              to receive benefit payments. The
     If the finding is correct, retain        benefit payments are deposited
     it. If it is not, report the error       into the specified account typically
     immediately to IDES. Please be           within two business days after the
     prepared to show proof of wages          claimant certifies for benefits.
     paid during your base period
     (i.e., W-2 statements, check stubs,      To sign up for direct deposit, log on
     etc.). Once you file a claim for         to www.ides.illinois.gov and click
     unemployment insurance benefits,         the link for direct deposit. This link
     you cannot withdraw the claim,           will also instruct you on how to edit
     even if a claim with a later effective   your banking information or cancel
     date would result in a higher weekly     your direct deposit. If you do not
     benefit amount.                          sign up for direct deposit, you will
                                              receive your benefit payments via
     Benefits Paid for Weeks                  debit card.

     Benefits are paid for calendar weeks     Receiving Benefit Payments via
     of unemployment. A calendar              Debit Card
     week begins on Sunday and ends
     on Saturday. Benefits are paid for       Claimants will automatically receive
     a week of unemployment after the         their unemployment insurance
     end of the week. Your assigned           benefits by debit card, unless they
     call day, certification day or           register for direct deposit. The card
     appointment is always on a date          will be mailed to the claimant,
     after your week of unemployment.         and the benefit payment amount
     You cannot receive benefits for a        will be downloaded onto the card
     week until you have certified for        approximately two business days
12   that week by telephone or mail,          after you certify for benefits with
     as directed, and have met all the        IDES. The card is administered
     eligibility requirements during that     jointly by a major bank card issuer
     week.                                    and IDES. All benefit payments
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS

     will be made via debit card unless         6.   Allows you to request (IRS
     a claimant has requested direct                 1099-G) information on the
     deposit. For more information                   total amount of benefits that
     regarding debit cards, log on to                IDES paid to you in the past
     www.ides.illinois.gov and select                calendar year and prior calendar
     the debit card option.                          years (with a seven-year limit).

     Certify for Benefits Using                 When you file your claim for
     “Tele-Serve”                               unemployment insurance, you will
                                                receive a Tele-Serve booklet that
     IDES permits you to file biweekly          provides detailed instructions on
     certifications by telephone. IDES          how to use Tele-Serve and file your
     uses a touch-tone voice response           biweekly claim certification by
     system called “Tele-Serve,” which:         telephone.

     1.   Provides a fast, reliable             What do you need to certify for
          way to answer questions               benefits through Tele-Serve?
          regarding certification of your
          unemployment insurance                •    Your Social Security number
          benefits.                                  and your PIN.

     2.   Allows you to reopen your             •    Any gross wages you earned or
          claim by telephone, under                  holiday pay received during the
          specific conditions.                       certification period.

     3.   Provides status information           •    Paper and pencil to record
          on your current claim and                  information during your call.
          tells you the date that your last
          benefit payment was processed.        If you have any questions about Tele-
                                                Serve, contact your local IDES office
     4.   Gives you general information         to avoid a delay.
          regarding employment and
          unemployment services that            Scheduled Appointments
          are available through IDES.
13                                              After filing your claim, you may be
     5.   Provides IDES locations when          scheduled to return to your local
          you enter your zip code.              IDES office for an appointment,
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS

     or you may be scheduled for                     •   About any vacation pay,
     a telephone interview. When                         holiday pay or other income
     scheduled, remember to do the                       you have received since you
     following:                                          last reported to the office.

     1.       Always report to your local            •   If you were sick or otherwise
              IDES office on the date and                unable to work or not ready
              time you are scheduled. If you             to take a job for any reason
              are scheduled for a telephone              since you last reported.
              interview, always make yourself
              available to accept the phone          •   If you quit, refused or were
              call at the telephone number               discharged from a job.
              you have provided. Claimants
              on a phone interview should be         •   If you were out of work since
              in an environment where they               you last reported because of
              can hear well, take notes and              a labor dispute.
              not be distracted. If you are not
              available for your appointment,        •   If you received or applied for
              report to your local IDES office           unemployment benefits from
              as soon as possible to explain             a state other than Illinois
              why you were unavailable. If               since you last reported.
              you do not have good cause for
              not being available, you may           •   Where you looked for work
              lose benefits.                             since you last reported. Keep
                                                         a separate record of all work
     2.       If your appointment is                     search efforts as you may
              scheduled in person, bring                 be required to provide this
              all other completed forms or               information later.
              documents you were instructed
              to bring.                              •   If you had earnings since
                                                         you last reported. Report the
     3.       At your interview, be prepared             gross amount earned before
              to tell our representative:                taxes, not your take-home
                                                         pay. Earnings in the form of
14        •     About any work you                       lodging, meals, merchandise
                performed since you last                 or in any other form should
                reported to the office.                  be included.
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS

     Remember, wages must be reported           benefit payment for that week will
     for the week when you earn them,           be reduced by one-fifth of your
     not when you actually receive them         weekly benefit amount. If you are
     (please see page 19).                      unable to work for five work days
                                                in a week, you will not receive
     If You Report by Mail                      any benefits for that week. If you
                                                become ill for an indefinite period,
     1.   Inquire at your local IDES            notify your local IDES office as
          office to make sure that you          soon as you are able to work.
          meet the specific conditions
          that permit you to be a               If You Move
          designated mail filer.
                                                Notify IDES staff of your new
     2.   Make sure the forms you               address and file a change-of-address
          are mailing are filled out            notice with your local U.S. Postal
          completely. Please use black          Station.
          ink.
                                                When You Return to Work
     3.   Be sure to mail your
          certification according to the        Notify your local IDES staff by
          instructions listed on the form,      mail as soon as possible, but not
          unless you are given other            later than 14 days after the day you
          instructions by staff at your         were supposed to certify. When
          local IDES office.                    reporting your return to work by
                                                mail, please include your Social
     4.   Be sure to sign all forms that        Security number.
          require your signature.
                                                If you report in person, tell the
     5.   Do not hesitate to contact your       claims representative the date you
          IDES staff if you do not receive      started work and the name and
          your next certification form          address of your employer.
          when you were told to expect
          it.                                   Lost Debit Cards

15   If You Are Unable to Work                  If you lose your debit card, call
                                                1-866-728-2167.
     For each work day you are sick or
     otherwise unable to work, your
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS

     If You Are Overpaid                      months in jail or both. In addition
                                              to possible criminal penalties,
     If you are overpaid, the amount          you may not draw benefits again
     may be recouped from benefits            until you have served a number
     payable to you. If the overpayment       of penalty weeks (or two years
     is due to reasons other than             have elapsed from the time your
     fraud, i.e., knowingly giving false      ineligibility began) and you have
     or misleading information, the           repaid the amount of benefits
     amount recouped may not be               received through fraud or that
     more than 25 percent of your             amount has been recovered from
     weekly benefit amount for each           benefits otherwise payable to you.
     week you are eligible for benefits.      Each employer for whom you
     The overpayment could result             work files with the state of Illinois
     in a comptroller’s offset of state       a record of wages paid to you and
     payments (such as state income tax       the quarter the wages were paid.
     refunds and lottery winnings).           Your claim is checked against these
                                              wage records.
     If an overpayment is not your
     fault and you can show financial         When you file a claim, all the
     hardship, you may request that           information you provide is
     the overpayment not be recouped          checked by investigators. Your last
     temporarily from any benefits            employer and, in some cases, other
     you are entitled to receive. Even if     former employers are notified
     recoupment is waived temporarily,        of your claim. The information
     you still are responsible for the        provided could affect your
     amount of benefits overpaid to           receiving benefits.
     you.
                                              If Your Claim Is Contested
     False or Misleading
     Information                              You will be given an opportunity
                                              to present the facts to an IDES
     The giving of false or misleading        claims adjudicator. If witnesses
     information, or the holding back         are required to help present your
     of any information in order to           case, you must arrange for them
16   draw benefits to which you are           to attend the meeting. Benefits
     not entitled, is punishable under        will be paid promptly if the claims
     Illinois law. You may be subject         adjudicator determines that you
     to a fine of up to $500 or six           are eligible for benefits.
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS

     If Your Claim Is Denied at Any             2.   At the hearing you will be
     Time – Your Appeal Rights                       given every opportunity to
                                                     present your case. Facts in
     1.   You may appeal any                         support of your claim should
          determination that denies you              be presented at this time. If
          benefits.                                  witnesses are required to help
                                                     present your case, you must
     2.   Ask an IDES staff member                   arrange for them to attend.
          at your local IDES office to
          explain your appeal rights and        3.   In the hearing you have the
          to help you file the appeal.               right to have a representative
                                                     – an attorney or any other
     3.   The law sets time limits for               person you choose – to help
          appeals. You must file your                you. The state contracts with
          appeal within 30 days after a              law firms to provide limited
          letter of denial has been mailed           free legal services at IDES
          to you. If the last day for filing         appeal hearings to claimants
          your appeal is Saturday or                 and certain small employers.
          Sunday, or any other day the               Representation at your hearing
          office is closed, the appeal may           is not automatic and depends
          be filed on the next day the               on the facts of your case.
          office is open. If you mail your           Even if you do not qualify for
          appeal, it must be postmarked              representation, an attorney
          within the time limit.                     will speak with you about your
                                                     case. If you are interested in
     4.   You may fax your appeal to                 this service, call 1-800-884-
          the designated fax number on               6591. To obtain this service
          your determination, within the             you must call right away after
          prescribed time period.                    receiving a ruling against you
                                                     or notice of an appeal. Any
     What Happens to Your Appeal?                    delay in calling could result in
                                                     your not being able to obtain
     1.   Your appeal will be assigned               this service.
          to an impartial referee for a
17        hearing. You will be notified         4.   If the referee decides against
          of the date and time of the                you, you have the right to
          hearing.                                   appeal to the Board of Review,
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS

          an independent five-person            IDES on your eligibility for benefits.
          body appointed by the                 If this information is provided
          governor. You have 30 days            within the specified period of time,
          from the date of the referee’s        an employer has the right under
          decision to file this appeal. Your    Illinois law to appeal the decision
          local IDES staff can assist you.      that allowed your benefits.

     5.   If you disagree with the              Benefits will be paid to you on the
          decision of the Board of              determination that allowed your
          Review, you may file an appeal        benefits even though the employer
          in the Circuit Court of the           has appealed. If the employer wins
          county in which you live if you       the appeal, and a referee holds that
          live in Illinois, or in the Circuit   the benefits should not have been
          Court of Cook County if you           paid to you, action will be taken to
          live in another state. You will       recover those benefits. Since you
          not be required to pay court          will be asked to repay any benefits
          costs. You may, however, have         received in error, it is important
          to pay for the service of a           that you participate in the referee
          summons and for a transcript          hearing on the employer’s appeal to
          of the record.                        present your side of the case.

     Continue to certify regularly and          If an employer has appealed, you
     report to your local IDES staff as         will be notified of the date and time
     directed for as long as your appeal is     of the hearing.
     pending and as long as you remain
     unemployed. If the final decision          How Your Benefits Are
     is in your favor, you can be paid          Determined
     benefits only for those weeks for
     which you filed claims and met all         The effective date of your first valid
     eligibility requirements.                  claim starts your benefit year.
                                                Usually this is the Sunday of the
     Employer Appeal Rights                     week in which you first file your
                                                claim. Your benefit year is the full
     When you file your first claim for         year that begins on that date. For
18   benefits, your last employer and,          example, if the date of your valid
     in some instances, other former            claim is in March, your benefit year
     employers are notified. They have          will continue through March of the
     the right to submit information to         following year.
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS

          If your Benefit Year Begins:       Your Base Period Will Be:

                                             Last Year Between:
              This Year Between:
                                             Jan. 1 and Sept. 30 and the year
              Jan. 1 and March 31
                                             before between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31

              This Year Between:             Last Year Between:
              April 1 and June 30            Jan. 1 and Dec. 31
                                             Last Year Between:
              This Year Between:
                                             April 1 and Dec. 31 and this year
              July 1 and Sept. 30
                                             between Jan. 1 and March 31

              This Year Between:             Last Year Between:
              Oct. 1 and Dec. 31             July 1 and Dec. 31 and this year
                                             between Jan. 1 and June 30

     Your weekly benefits and the total         can file a valid claim and start your
     amount of benefits that can be paid        benefit year in December only if,
     to you during your benefit year            during your base period of July 1
     depend on the amount of wages for          through June 30, you were paid
     insured work paid to you during            wages of at least $1,600 for insured
     your base period.                          work and, outside your highest
                                                quarter of earnings for insured
     Your Base Period                           work, you were paid at least $440.
                                                If you meet these base period wage
     The base period consists of the            requirements and start your benefit
     first four of the last five completed      year in December, your weekly
     calendar quarters immediately              benefits and the total amount of
     preceding the beginning of                 benefits that can be paid to you
     your benefit year. There are four          during your benefit year depend
     calendar quarters: January–March,          on the amount of wages for insured
     April–June, July–September and             work paid to you during your
     October–December.                          base period (July 1, 2005, through
                                                June 30, 2006). If you have been
     Using the table above: If your             awarded temporary total disability
19   benefit year begins in December            under a workers’ compensation
     of 2006, your base period is the           act or other similar acts, your
     four calendar quarters from July 1,        base period may be determined
     2005, through June 30, 2006. You           differently.
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS

     Unemployed individuals who                 your weekly benefit amount equal
     lack sufficient wages to qualify           the total amount payable for the
     for unemployment benefits using            week.
     the standard base period may be
     eligible under an alternate base           Regardless of how much you were
     period. The alternate base period          paid in your two highest quarters,
     is the four most recent completed          the total amount payable to you for
     quarters. It is important to note          a week cannot exceed a legislatively
     that the alternate base period can         set maximum amount.
     only be used if the claimant is
     not monetarily eligible under the          Your local IDES staff can provide
     standard base period and not to            you with a table to confirm the
     increase a claimant’s weekly benefit       calculation of your benefits. You
     amount. Contact a local IDES               can confirm the calculation of your
     office for more information.               benefits on the IDES Web site:
                                                www.ides.illinois.gov.
     Total Weekly Benefits
                                                Total Yearly Benefits
     This is the amount of benefits
     you will be paid for any week              The total amount of benefits that
     in your benefit year if you are            can be paid to you during your
     unemployed and meet all of the             benefit year is 26 times your weekly
     eligibility requirements (unless           benefit amount plus an allowance
     you have already exhausted all             for dependents or an amount
     your benefits). The size of your           equal to the total wages for insured
     weekly benefit amount depends on           work paid to you during your base
     the amount of wages for insured            period, whichever amount is less.
     work paid to you during the two
     calendar quarters of your base             Partial Benefits–Part-Time
     period in which your wages were            Work
     highest.
                                                You may claim some benefits for
     In addition to your weekly benefit         a week if you work less than full
     amount, if you have a dependent            time because of lack of work. Your
20   child or nonworking spouse                 earnings for the week must be less
     you will receive an additional             than the weekly benefit amount
     allowance for the dependent. A             (this amount does not include
     dependent’s allowance, if any, plus        a dependent’s allowance) you
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS

     would receive if you were totally                                 Note: The full amount of holiday
     unemployed for the week.                                          or vacation pay will be deducted
                                                                       from your weekly benefit amount.
     You must report all your earnings
     from part-time work.                                              Interstate Benefits

     Figuring Partial Benefits                                         Any state you move to will help
                                                                       you file a benefits claim against
     Partial benefits equal the difference                             Illinois and will provide the same
     between that part of your earnings                                service and assistance you would
     that exceed 50 percent of your                                    receive in Illinois. This is also
     weekly benefit amount and your                                    true in the District of Columbia,
     weekly benefit amount for total                                   Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands
     unemployment. If the partial                                      and Canada. The state in which
     benefit amount does not come to an                                you file your claim acts as an
     even dollar, it is raised to the next                             agent state. File your claim at the
     higher dollar, provided it does not                               unemployment insurance office
     exceed your weekly benefit amount.                                that serves the area in which you
                                                                       live.
     For example:
     If your weekly benefit amount
                                                                       When you file your claim against
     (not including dependency
                                                                       Illinois, Illinois will determine
     allowance) is ................................ $110.00
                                                                       what benefits you will receive if
     50% of that amount is ................ $55.00                     you are eligible. The statement of
     If your earnings are .................... $76.50                  your base period wages and notices
     The amount that exceeds 50%                                       of decisions on your claim will be
     of your weekly benefit amount                                     sent directly to you. You must meet
     is .................................................... $21.50    all the requirements of Illinois law
     The difference between your                                       no matter where you file a claim,
     weekly benefit amount ............... $110.00                     and the final decision on your
                                                                       claim will be made by Illinois.
     And the amount of your
     earnings that exceeds 50% of
                                                                       The agent state will tell you the day
     your weekly benefit amount ...... $21.50
                                                                       and hour when you must report to
21   Gives you a partial benefit                                       an office if necessary.
     amount of..................................... $88.50
     Raised to the next highest                                        The agent state will also register
     dollar ............................................ $89.00        you for work.
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS

     If you are newly arrived in Illinois,        Wages paid to you by the federal
     you may be able to claim benefits            government as a civilian employee
     from your home state.                        qualify you for benefits under any
                                                  state unemployment insurance act
     Combined Wage Claim                          just as if the wages were paid by a
                                                  private employer that contributes
     A nationwide arrangement exists              to the unemployment insurance
     that allows you, under certain               fund of that state. Your benefit
     circumstances, to combine the                rights will be determined by the
     wages you have earned in more                law of the state against which you
     than one state either to qualify you         file your claim. Report to the local
     for benefits or to increase your             unemployment insurance office
     benefits.                                    servicing the area in which you
                                                  live. The claims representative at
     If you have worked in other states           that office will tell you how to file
     during the past two years, be sure to        a claim and against what state the
     tell the claims representative when          claim should be filed. If your claim
     you file your new claim. You will be         is filed against Illinois, your benefit
     given complete information about             rights will be determined by the
     your rights to file a Combined               Illinois Unemployment Insurance
     Wage Claim.                                  Act and you must comply with
                                                  the requirements of Illinois law to
     United States Government                     receive benefits.
     Employees
                                                  If your claim is filed against another
     If you have worked as a civilian             state, your benefit rights will be
     employee of the federal government           determined by the law of that state.
     during the last two years, you may
     be eligible for unemployment                 Federal civilian service and
     insurance benefits based on                  wages are assigned to the state
     government wages you were paid.              in which your last official duty
                                                  station was located. However, if
     Tell the claims representative about         you had covered employment
     this employment and show your                (i.e., employment for which your
22   Standard Form 8 and Personnel                employer contributed to the
     Action Form 50 or any other                  unemployment insurance fund)
     documents that prove that you                with a non-federal employer in a
     worked for the federal government.           state other than the state in which
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS

     your last official duty station           you should apply to the U.S.
     was located, your federal civilian        Civil Service Commission and/
     service and wages will be assigned        or contact the personnel office of
     to the state in which you worked          the federal agency from which you
     in non-federal employment after           have been separated.
     leaving federal service. The service
     and wages are assigned to the state       All state laws provide the right of
     whenever you, following your              appeal to a claimant who is denied
     separation from federal civilian          benefits for any reason. In most
     service, establish an unemployment        matters your appeal rights are the
     insurance claim on which benefits         same as those of any other claimant
     may be paid. That particular state        in the state. However, federal law
     then has control over all your            provides that determinations of
     federal civilian service and wages.       federal service and duty station
                                               given by the federal agency shall be
     As a former federal civilian              conclusive.
     employee, you may have
     reemployment rights with your             If you believe that the information
     former employer (federal agency)          reported by your federal agency
     depending upon your employment            is incorrect, you have the right to
     status at the time of separation          request a review by that agency.
     from work:                                Appeals or requests for review
                                               should be made at the local
     Career Status: If you have been           unemployment insurance office
      separated by a reduction in force,       where you report to file your claim.
      priority will be given to you in
      filling vacant positions within          U.S. Military Veterans
      the federal government for a
      period of two years from the date        As an ex-serviceman or woman,
      of the reduction in force.               you have potential reemployment
                                               rights with your pre-service
     Career-Conditioned Status: If             employer. Applications for
      you have not served a one-year           reemployment, however, must be
      probationary period, your name           filed within a certain time period
23    will be on the list for one year.        after completion of military
                                               service. If you need further
     To protect your rights and your           assistance concerning protection of
     unemployment insurance benefits,          these rights, contact the Veterans
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS

     Employment and Training Service             The assignment of your military
     of the U.S. Department of Labor at          service and wages is by the Federal
     312-793-3433.                               Claims Control Center, operated
                                                 by Lockheed Martin Information
     If you had active federal service           Technology, in order to avoid
     in the armed forces, you may be             any duplication of assignment by
     able to receive unemployment                some other state. A duplication
     insurance benefits based upon               of assignment of your service
     the pay and allowances applicable           and wages will result in a delay of
     to your pay grade at the time of            payment to you. Therefore, if you
     separation from active military             have filed a claim (regardless of
     service.                                    whether or not you received any
                                                 benefit payments) in another state
     To qualify for unemployment                 since your separation from the
     insurance benefits, you must have           armed forces, give that information
     been discharged or released from            to the claims representative of the
     the armed forces under honorable            IDES office servicing you.
     conditions and, if an officer, you
     must not have resigned for the good         Your benefit payments are based
     of the service.                             on your military wages, which
                                                 are determined by a schedule
     File your unemployment insurance            of remuneration established by
     claim and register for work at the          the U.S. Secretary of Labor. This
     nearest local IDES office. Bring            schedule contains the dollar
     with you Copy Four of your DD               equivalent broken down to daily,
     Form 214, your Social Security              weekly and monthly rates for each
     card and your record of all civilian        pay grade in the armed forces. Your
     employment, if any, during the last         pay grade at the time of separation
     two years.                                  from active duty will determine
                                                 your benefit amount.
     Federal law requires that military
     service and wages be assigned to the        Your benefit rights will be
     state where you first file a claim for      determined by the law of the state
     unemployment insurance benefits             in which you first file a claim
24   following separation from active            for unemployment insurance
     military service. Once assigned, all        and establish a benefit year after
     federal military service and wages          your last separation from active
     remain assigned to that state.              military service. To establish a
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS

     benefit year, you must have had a            Appeals or requests for review
     certain amount of active service in          should be made at the local IDES
     the armed forces within the base             office where you filed your claim.
     period applicable to that benefit
     year (please see page 19). If your           Trade Assistance Benefits
     first claim establishing a benefit
     year is filed in Illinois, you must          Workers who lose their jobs or who
     comply with all the requirements             experience reduced work hours
     of Illinois law. In addition, federal        and wages as a result of increased
     law provides that your benefits              imports or the shifting of their jobs
     cannot begin during a period for             abroad may qualify for additional
     which you are receiving federal              benefits under the Trade Reform
     subsistence allowances under the             Act of 2002. (The worker group
     Vocational Rehabilitation Act                must be certified as eligible by the
     or educational assistance under              federal Department of Labor.)
     the War Orphans’ and Widows’
     Educational Assistance Act.                  The benefits administered by IDES
                                                  include income support, the Health
     All state unemployment insurance             Coverage Tax Credit and alternate
     laws provide the right of appeal to          trade assistance for older workers.
     a person who is denied benefits for
     any reason. In most matters, your            Individuals should contact the local
     appeal rights are the same as those          IDES office where they filed their
     of any other claimant in your state.         unemployment claim. Or to find
     However, federal law provides that           the nearest office, call 1-888-367-
     the appropriate federal agency’s             4382.
     determination of your active
     military service, your pay grade             Profiling and Referral to
     at the time of discharge or release          Reemployment Services
     from active military service and
     the type of discharge or release you         In accordance with federal law, all
     received from such service shall be          unemployment insurance claimants
     final and conclusive. If you believe         are profiled, based on various
     that the information on your                 work-related characteristics, to
25   separation document is incorrect,            determine the likelihood that they
     you may ask for a review by the              will exhaust all of their benefits
     appropriate federal agency.                  and may need extra help in
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS

     finding work. These individuals          Final Tips for Filing
     may then be referred for more
     intensive reemployment services.         If you remember to do the
     These services include a personal        following, your unemployment
     assessment of your needs and             insurance application should
     recommended activities to enhance        be processed smoothly and
     your job search such as resume           require minimum time spent on
     writing, interviewing tips and           paperwork.
     referral to available training or
     local job clubs.                         1.   Always provide your name,
                                                   address and Social Security
     If you are referred to reemployment           number whenever you write to
     services and you refuse to                    your local IDES staff.
     participate without good reason,
     you can be denied unemployment           2.   Report at your assigned
     benefits until you agree to                   time. The purpose of specific
     participate.                                  appointment times is to spread
                                                   work evenly over the week so
     Report Your Return to Work                    that you can receive service
     IMMEDIATELY!                                  with minimum delay.

     Employers are required to report         3.   Be aware of office procedures.
     all new hires to IDES. These reports          IDES employees perform
     are used to identify individuals              many different tasks and follow
     who are collecting unemployment               office procedures to ensure
     insurance benefits after they have            that all customers are served
     returned to work. Failure to report           in the order in which they
     your return to work or all gross              arrived. If staff are observed
     wages earned during weeks covered             working alone at their desks,
     by your certification will result             they most likely are recording
     in an overpayment of benefits,                information on their previous
     and potentially a determination               customer’s claim, which must
     of fraud that entails penalty                 be completed before the next
     weeks, comptroller’s offset of state          person is called.
26   payments (such as state income tax
     refunds and lottery winnings) and        4.   Be patient awaiting your first
     prosecution for state benefits fraud.         benefit payment. IDES pays
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS

         benefits in a timely manner.           benefits paid to you at the end of
         After that, benefit payments           each calendar year.
         should occur every two weeks
         as long as you remember to             If you elected to have federal and/
         certify your claim on your             or State of Illinois income taxes
         assigned day.                          deducted and withheld from your
                                                unemployment insurance benefit
     Benefits May Be Taxable                    payments, the Form 1099-G will
                                                reflect the total amount deducted
     Your unemployment insurance                and withheld for that calendar year.
     benefits may be fully taxable on           The Internal Revenue Service and
     your state and federal income tax          Illinois Revenue Department will be
     returns. The Tax Reform Act of             given the same information.
     1986 amended the law to make
     unemployment insurance benefits            Your Social Security Number Is
     taxable if you are required to file        Required
     a state or federal tax return. You
     may elect to have federal and/             You will be asked to furnish your
     or State of Illinois income taxes          Social Security account number
     deducted and withheld from your            on the claim forms given to you.
     unemployment insurance benefit             Your Social Security number is
     payments. Deductions are made              solicited under the authority of the
     at predetermined levels: 10% for           Internal Revenue Code of 1986
     federal income tax and 3.75% for           [26 U.S.C. 85, 6011(a), 6050B and
     state income tax.                          6109(a)]. Disclosure of your Social
                                                Security number for this purpose
     If you do not elect to have federal        is mandatory, and it must be
     and/or State of Illinois income taxes      entered on the forms you submit
     deducted and withheld from your            to claim unemployment insurance
     unemployment insurance benefit             benefits. The validity of the Social
     payments, you may be required to           Security number you provide will
     make estimated tax payments using          be verified with the Social Security
     Internal Revenue Service Form              Administration.
     1040ES and the Illinois Department
27   of Revenue form, IL 1040ES.                Your Social Security number will be
                                                used to report your unemployment
     IDES will provide you with IRS             insurance benefits to the Internal
     Form 1099-G, a statement of                Revenue Service as income that
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