How Long After Employment Is an Employer Chargeable for Unemployment in Illinois?

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Illinois, like most states, requires the unemployed to meet certain criteria in order to receive unemployment benefits. Unemployed individuals are required to have made at least $1,600 in the previous 12 months of employment. You must be entirely out of work and fully able to work in order to receive benefits. If you have worked only a short time for your current employer, the Illinois Department of Employment Security will contact previous employers as well. Information regarding previous employers within the pasts 12 months is necessary for your application.

Facts about Illinois Unemployment

Unemployment information in Illinois is kept confidential. The Illinois Department of Employment Security can not give your unemployment information to your family members or your spouse. However, the IDES may give your unemployment information to your previous employers. All who apply for unemployment benefits are subject to a week waiting period to receive any benefits. This " waiting" week occurs on an annual basis based on the anniversary of filing for benefits. Participants may be eligible for 53 weeks of emergency unemployment compensation. You may also be eligible to apply for a 20-week extension beyond the emergency period.

Read More: Reasons for Denial of Unemployment Benefits in Illinois

Employee and Illinois Unemployment

You should apply for unemployment benefits immediately after losing your job, whether you voluntarily quit your job, were fired or were laid off. As an applicant, you are required to have made at least $1,600 in the previous 12 months to qualify. You must have earned at least $440 outside of the base period quarter in which your earnings were the highest. To apply, you must provide your Social Security number, names and addresses of your previous employers and the number of days and weeks worked for each, records showing wages including dismissal wages and vacation pay.

Employers and Illinois Unemployment

Employers must pay unemployment for each employee as of date of hire. As an employer, you are required to pay unemployment if you pay an employee a minimum of $1,000 in any quarter. Unemployment benefits are based solely on employer contributions and are not deducted from an employee's wages. Employers are required to provide employees with a copy of the Illinois Department of Employment Security brochure if an employee is laid off or separated from the payroll for more than seven days.


If you believe that you were unfairly denied benefits, you may appeal the IDES's decision. The IDES may deny benefits to anyone who was fired for misconduct or did not quit the job for "good cause." To appeal your decision, you must file an appeal with an IDES referee within 30 days. Upon receiving your appeal, the IDES will send you a notice including your hearing date and time. If you were fired from your job for misconduct, your employer will need to show the referee that you were warned of this misconduct before your dismissal.

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