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Regular Unemployment Insurance Benefit Timeline

Week 1: Apply for Benefits

  • File your claim for benefits online.
  • If you are unable to file online, you may also call (217) 558-0401 to schedule an appointment to file in-person.
  • Login and create or upload a resume to your account. Employment service registration is required to receive benefits, unless you are exempt. IDES will notify you if you fit one of the narrow exceptions. You may find more information about and employment service registration here.
  • Choose between receiving benefits with direct deposit (quickest method for payment) or via paper check (default method). Enroll for direct deposit when file your claim online.

Week 2: Await Your Unemployment Insurance (UI) Finding Letter

  • IDES will review your filed claim.
  • In roughly 7-10 business days, you will receive a UI Finding letter detailing the eligibility results of the claim.
  • It may be necessary for you to be interviewed regarding your eligibility for benefits. In these cases, you will be informed on the day you file your claim of the date and time of the interview, or you will receive a notice by mail providing you with this information. Most interviews will be conducted by telephone. Failure to be available for the interview may affect your eligibility for benefits. If you cannot be available at the date and time of the scheduled interview, it is your responsibility to contact IDES to reschedule. · 
  • The Finding letter will contain information about your benefits and your certification day. Read 'I Filed My Claim, What Happens Now?'
  • If letter shows a Weekly Benefit Amount of $0.00, it means you are ineligible to receive UI benefits. If you are found ineligible, you may appeal this determination by providing proof of income for the past 18 months uploaded under "Proof of Earnings".
  • Note: First week of eligibility post-filing is the "waiting week". Benefits will not be given this week as per law.

Week 3: Certify Online or Phone

  • Use your IDES online account or Teleserve at 312-338-4337 to certify for benefits (as indicated in your UI Finding Letter). · Be ready to answer certification questions.
  • You are required to actively search for work and must be able to work.
  • Any wages earned in the past two weeks must be reported. You can find more on how to report part-time wages here.
  • Mark your calendar! Certify on your assigned day every other week to get your benefits.
    • Thursdays and Fridays are make-up days if you miss your certification day.

*If you miss your regular certification day, you can certify on Thursday on Friday.