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FAQs for Employers

The frequently asked questions (FAQs) provided below highlight topics and specific questions that employers often ask IDES.

Common Questions

As a new employer, do I need to register and file with IDES?

Your newly-created business (employing unit) must register with IDES within 30 days of start-up. Employers can register electronically through the MyTax Illinois ​website. 

Submit a completed and signed REG-UI-1 form, "Report to Determine Liability Under the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act".

Are there resources for my business potentially closing or laying off employees?

An employer looking to avoid layoffs may want to consider making use of WorkShare IL, a voluntary program designed to help employers avoid layoffs. Rapid Response Services are available to employers who are planning or have gone through a permanent closure or mass layoff at a plant, facility, or enterprise, or a natural or other disaster, that results in mass job dislocation. The State Dislocated Worker Unit coordinates with employers to provide on-site information to workers and employers about employment and retraining services designed to help participants retain employment when feasible, or obtain re-employment as soon as possible. For more information, visit Rapid Response Services for Businesses or contact your local Illinois WorkNet Center.

What are the Quarterly Filing Requirements for Employers?

​Employers must file wage reports (Form UI-3/40) and pay contributions in the month after the close of each calendar quarter - that is, on or before April 30, July 31, October 31 and January 31.  Some employers are required to report the wages paid to their workers every month, but pay contributions on those wages by the quarterly deadlines of April 30, July 31, October 31 and January 31. More information. 

Mail completed forms and payments to:

P.O. Box 19300
Springfield, Illinois 62794-9300

For more IDES employer contact information, or call:

  • The Employer Services Hotline, at 800-247-4984

  • The Tax Hotline TTY number is 866-212-8831.

If I want to protest a claim, how long do I have?

You have 10 calendar days to protest in a timely manner. Protests must be postmarked or faxed by the due date indicated on the Notice of Claim. If you receive a notice after the due date, please indicate that on your response, return your response as soon as possible, and keep the envelope.

How should an employer file quarterly and monthly contribution (tax) and wage reports?

File quarterly Contribution & Wage Reports (UI-3/40) and Monthly Wage Reports via MyTax Illinois​.​

Monthly Report (CSV) File Format Guide (pdf)
Effective Dates

Are employers going to be given extra time for filing the monthly payroll or quarterly wage reports?

The law has not been changed to give employers extra time for filing monthly or quarterly wage reports. However, employers are reminded that they can file a written request with the Director prior to the wage report filing due date to ask for an extension to file the wage report. The maximum extension for filing a monthly wage report is 15 days. The maximum extension for filing a quarterly wage report is 30 days. To make the request for an extension, the employer must state a reason for the request. Employers are encouraged to file their requests for extension via the MyTax website.

What are an employer's electronic (paperless) filing options?

The Rules of the Illinois Department of Employment Security (56 Ill. Code 2760.140) require employers with 25 or more employees during the prior calendar year to file their monthly Wage Report and their Quarterly Contribution and Wage Report (UI-3/40) electronically.

File Format Guides

Our quarterly filing guides are available for download below in the Adobe PDF Format. Download a free copy of Adobe Reader at the Adobe website.



  • Quarterly Report (ICESA) File Format Guide (pdf)
  • Quarterly Report (CSV) File Format Guide
  • Electronic Funds Transfer Guide

    I run a not-for-profit entity and have less than 4 employees. Can I retroactively elect to be liable under the UI Act so my employees can receive unemployment benefits?


    Can the employer require staff to utilize leave in lieu of paying them their salary? How does this affect unemployment eligibility?

    It depends on whether the employees are working during the period. During a period in which an employee is not working, an employer’s decision to require the employee to utilize available paid leave or the equivalent should be based on the internal business policies of the employer and any applicable collective bargaining agreements. Whether the payment is disqualifying for unemployment purposes depends on the type of payment, when it was paid, and when IDES is notified of the payment. To notify us of potentially disqualifying issues, please sign up for SIDES at MyTax Illinois.

    Updates to Employer Accounts

    Make Changes to your UI Account - Request to close your UI account, make wage corrections - Name or social security number corrections

    ​Keeping your business information up to date in our system ensures that you will continue to receive letters and other critical documents from our agency.​ Complete the changes online at the MyTax Illinois website​ or the Notice of Change form UI-50 for:

    • ​Phone Number Change/Name Change/Address Change/Miscellaneous Changes
    • Business Name change without change in legal entity
    • Reorganization, Sale or Other Organizational Change
    • Request to Close UI Account ​

    Complete the forms below for Wage/Name/Social Security Corrections

    I was forced to furlough some workers, but now they refuse to come back to work. What should I do?

    If an employer makes an offer to re-hire an employee, the employee refuses, and remains on unemployment insurance, the employer should notify the agency in writing by responding to the Notice of Claim or the Statement of Benefit Charges (BEN-118). IDES will investigate and make a determination, which can be appealed. More information is available on the Refusal to Return to Work page. 

    As an employer, what are my options for paying UI taxes?

    MyTax Illinois You can establish a MyTax Illinois account to pay UI Taxes. Click here​ for more information.  ​

    What are Employer UI Contribution (Tax) Rates?

    ​​State Experience Factor & Employers' UI Contribution Rates (EA-50):

     2020 | 20192018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 

    ​Rates ​Maximum ​Minimum ​Taxable Wage Base
    2019​ ​6.875% ​0.475% ​$12,960​
    ​2018 ​6.925%​ 0.525%​​ $12,960​​​
    ​2017 7.350%​ 0.550%​ $12,960​​
    2016​ 7.750%​ 0.550%​​ $12,960​
    2015​ ​8.150% 0.550%​ ​$12.960
    ​2014 8.550%​ 0.550%​ $12,960​
    2013​ ​8.950% ​.550% ​$12,900
    ​2012 ​9.450% ​.550% ​$13,560
    ​2011 ​8.400% ​.700% ​$12,740
    ​2010 ​7.250% ​.650% ​$12,520

    Click here for an historical rate chart.​

    For experience-rated employers with experience in three or more consecutive calendar years before the year for which a rate is being determined,, the contribution rate is based on a ratio, called the benefit ratio, which is determined in such a way that, generally, the greater the unemployment caused by the employer, the higher the rate.

    Non-profit institutions and governmental entities may elect to make payments in lieu of contributions due. These can be equal to 100% of the regular benefit amounts, including dependents’ allowances, that are paid to claimants.


    What is a benefit charge protest (BEN-118 or BEN-118R) that IDES sends to employers?

    An employer who was determined to be the chargeable employer is furnished with a notification identifying the worker, number of weeks collected and the total charge amount at the end of each quarter. For employers that pay contributions (“taxable” employers), the quarterly Statement of Benefit Charges is called a BEN-118. For employers that make payments in lieu of contributions (“reimbursable employers), the quarterly Statement of Amount Due for Benefits Paid is called a BEN-118R. If the former worker collected benefits, a taxable or reimbursable employer can contest these charges.

    A taxable employer has forty-five days to file a written protest​ to the BEN-118. A reimbursable employer has twenty days to file a written protest to the BEN-118R.

    Note: the reimbursable employer must pay the billed amount regardless of protest status. If the protest is successful, the reimbursable employer will get relief later. If the protest is denied in whole or in part, the employer may request an administrative hearing.

    How can employers submit complaints or allegations regarding UI Earnings Fraud?

    Use the Fraud Reporting Form, and send to IDES:

    • By Mail: 
      • Illinois Department of Employment Security
        Attention: Field Audit Manager  
        33 S. State Street, 10th Floor
        Chicago, Illinois 60603-2802

    • By Fax: IDES Field Audit Manager, 312-793-4351   
    • By Phone: 312-793-1920

    Where do I send my completed WOTC certification request forms (including the 8850 & 9061 forms)?

    33 South State Street
    10th Floor
    Chicago, Il  60603

    How do I report identity theft fraud?

    Employers can securely report fraudulent claims filed under the names of one or more of their employees through MyTax Illinois. To learn more, visit the employer fraud webpage and see the employer reporting guide.