If you’re one of the millions of people who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have filed for unemployment benefits in Illinois.
However, unemployment benefits are not indefinite, and your benefit year will eventually come to an end. So, what happens when your benefit year ends with unemployment Illinois?
When your benefit year ends, you will no longer be able to receive unemployment benefits. This means that you will need to find another source of income to support yourself and your family. In this article, we will discuss what you can do when your benefit year ends, and what options are available to you.
Navigating the End of Benefit Year for Unemployment in Illinois
When you first submit a successful claim for unemployment benefits in Illinois, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) sets up an account for you which lasts one year, known as your “benefit year”. So what happens when this benefit year ends? Here’s an outline to help you understand the process.
1. Expiration of Benefit Year:
Your benefit year ends 52 weeks from when your unemployment claim was initially set up. While your benefit year is ending, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your unemployment benefits automatically stop at the end of this period.
2. Relationship to Benefit Weeks:
In Illinois, typically you can receive up to 26 weeks of regular unemployment benefits in your benefit year. However, the actual amount of benefits that you’re eligible to receive doesn’t depend on the benefit year length, but on your base period wages.
3. Extending the Benefit Year:
In times of high unemployment rates or under exceptional circumstances, like the COVID-19 pandemic, extensions to the regular state unemployment benefits may be offered.
4. Filing a New Claim:
At the end of your benefit year, if you’re still unemployed and require assistance, you must file a new claim. Eligibility for a new claim will again be based on your employment and wages in the past 18 months.
5. Continuation of Extended Benefits:
If you were on extensions such as Extended Benefits (EB) or the federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) when your benefit year ended, generally you can continue receiving the remaining weeks of your extended benefits without filing a new claim. But it is advised to double-check with the IDES for the most accurate information.
2024 Illinois Unemployment Benefits: Duration and Eligibility Explained
As of 2024, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) offers unemployment benefits to eligible individuals who are unemployed through no fault of their own. These benefits are designed to provide temporary financial assistance while individuals search for new job opportunities.
To be eligible for unemployment benefits in Illinois, individuals must meet certain requirements:
- Be unemployed through no fault of their own
- Have earned sufficient wages during the base period
- Be able and available to work
- Be actively seeking new job opportunities
- Register with the IDES employment service
- Be willing to accept suitable job offers
Individuals who are self-employed or independent contractors are not eligible for unemployment benefits in Illinois.
Duration of Benefits
The amount of time an individual can receive unemployment benefits in Illinois depends on several factors:
- The individual’s base period wages
- The individual’s weekly benefit amount
- The maximum benefit amount allowed
In general, the maximum duration of benefits is 26 weeks. However, during times of high unemployment, the state may offer extended benefits and increase the maximum duration of benefits.
In conclusion, an ending benefit year doesn’t automatically spell the end to your unemployment benefits. If you are still eligible for benefits, you’ll mostly need to file a new claim to continue receiving them.
It is essential to keep an eye on your benefit year’s ending date and understand your next steps. For more personalized advice or if you are unsure about your situation, don’t hesitate to contact Illinois Department of Employment Security. Their staff can help guide you through the process in these challenging times.