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IDES Accepting Disaster Unemployment Assistance Applications After Cook County Flooding

Announcement – Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Contact: Rebecca Cisco | 217-524-1219 | PDF Version


DUA Benefits Available to Eligible Workers After Presidential Disaster Declaration

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is now available to eligible individuals in Cook County who were impacted by flooding in September as a result of a major disaster declaration issued by President Biden on November 20, 2023.  DUA benefits are federally funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“IDES is grateful that federal disaster relief, including the availability of DUA benefits, has been authorized for individuals impacted by the severe storms and flooding earlier this fall,” said IDES Acting Director Ray Marchiori.  “The Department is ready to provide assistance to those affected and bring relief to the area’s residents.”

IDES is now accepting applications for DUA benefits from individuals in Cook County whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted due to the flooding.  Claimants are eligible to receive up to 35 weeks of DUA benefits as long as their unemployment continues to be a result of the disaster.  Eligibility for DUA benefits will be determined on a week-to-week basis. Applications for DUA benefits must be filed by December 27, 2023.

To file a DUA benefits claim, individuals are encouraged to:

  • Contact the IDES call center appointment line at: 217.558.0401
  • Identify they are calling related to the Cook County Flood – DUA Benefits
  • Schedule an appointment to visit the Lawrence, Pilsen, or Woodlawn American Job Center to file a DUA benefits claim

Claimants must first apply for and be found ineligible regular state unemployment insurance benefits before applying for DUA benefits.  IDES will work with individuals on a case-by-case basis to determine eligibility and payment(s) of DUA benefits.

To be considered eligible for DUA benefits, individuals must:

  • Be an unemployed or self-unemployed worker whose unemployment was caused as a direct result of the major disaster declared by the President
  • Be a U.S. national or qualified citizen
  • Not qualify for regular unemployment insurance benefits from any state
  • Have worked or were self-employed in, or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment in, Cook County
  • Establish the work or self-employment no longer able to perform is the primary source of income

Individuals who may also be eligible to apply for DUA benefits include those who:

  • Can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage or destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of a disaster
  • Cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury caused as a direct result of the disaster
  • Became the sole earner or major support of a household because of the death of the head of the household
  • Cannot work or perform self-employment due to closure of a facility by the federal government

About the Department of Employment Security

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) provides vital employment services to Illinois workers, employers, and job seekers with resources including Job Fairs and, analyzes and disseminates actionable Labor Market Information, and administers the Unemployment Insurance Program. To see the full range of services provided by IDES, and for the latest news concerning the department, visit