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When You Should File For Online Unemployment Benefits Depends On Your Last Name

More than 300,000 people have filed for unemployment in Illinois in the last few weeks. Due to COVID-19 in person filings at IDES offices are closed and the system was overwhelmed online. As a result the Illinois Department of Employment Security has guidelines to reduce volume online by surname. Below is when you should call.

In order to process the extremely high volume of unemployment benefit claims due to COVID-19, IDES has implemented the following schedule for those filing claims online and over the phone:

Online Filing Schedule:

  • Those with last names beginning with letters A-M will be asked to file their claims on Sundays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays.
  • Those with last names beginning with letters N-Z will be asked to file their claims on Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays.
  • Saturdays will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window.

Call Center Filing Schedule:

  • Those with last names beginning with letters A-M will be asked to call on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 7:30am – 6pm.
  • Those with last names beginning with letters N-Z will be asked to call on Mondays and Wednesdays between 7:30am – 6pm.
  • Fridays (7:30am – 6pm) will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window.

The day or time of day in which a claim is filed will not impact whether you receive benefits or your benefit amount. Additionally, claims will be back-dated to reflect the date in which a claimant was laid-off or let go from their job due to COVID-19.  Click here for more information.

Important:
Online filing and claims applications will be unavailable every night from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. for daily claims processing. Thank you for your patience.

Note: The days in which you can file a claim may be different from the days in which you are asked to certify.

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