Can I Claim a Child on Unemployment in Illinois?

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Illinois unemployment benefits are based on your previous salary during the 15 to 18 months before you filed for benefits. You can receive additional money for each week of benefits if you qualify for a dependents allowance because you have a financially dependent spouse or child. A child brings in more allowance than a spouse, but you may have to prove your relationship to the child to receive the money.

Illinois Unemployment

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) offers unemployment benefits to Illinois citizens who are unemployed through no fault of their own. The amount of your benefits is 47 percent of the amount of insured wages you earned during the two highest quarters of your base period. Your base period is the first four of the last five full calendar quarters before you filed your claim. Regardless of how many wages you earned in our base period, your weekly benefit amount can never exceed 56 percent of Illinois average weekly wage.

Dependency Allowance

In addition to you weekly benefit amount, the state of Illinois can also award you a dependency benefit. This is an additional stipend each week for each of your financial dependents, such as a spouse or minor child. To qualify as a dependent, your spouse or child must not be working and you provide the majority of her financial support. If both you and your spouse are receiving unemployment benefits, one of you may claim a child at a time.

Rates

The dependency benefit rate depends on the number and type of dependents you claim. An additional 9 percent of the weekly benefit amount is added for a dependent spouse. For each dependent child, an additional 18.2 percent of the weekly benefit amount is added. Regardless of the number of dependents you claim, you rate will never exceed 56 percent of Illinois average weekly wage, computed each July 1st.

Applying

You apply for the dependency allowance when you apply for Illinois unemployment benefits. The application is available online or by phone. When you get to the portion that asks about your dependents input each dependent’s name and Social Security number. If the state can verify the information during its review of your claim, that’s the end of it. If there’s any problem, the IDES will contact you for further information. You may have to produce a copy of a birth certificate, guardianship papers or a marriage certificate.

References

About the Author

Michaele Curtis began writing professionally in 2001. As a freelance writer for the Centers for Disease Control, Nationwide Insurance and AT&T Interactive, her work has appeared in "Insurance Today," "Mobiles and PDAs" and "Curve Magazine." Curtis holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from Louisiana State University.