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Illinois Department of Employment Security

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  • Illinois Department of Employment Security


    to workers about Unemployment Insurance Benefits


    The Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act provides for the payment of benefits to eligible unemployed workers and for the collection of employer contributions from liable employers. It is designed to provide living expenses while new employment is sought. Claims should be made at the Illinois Department of Employment Security office nearest to the worker’s home as soon as possible after separation from employment. To be eligible for benefits, an unemployed individual must be available for work, able to work and actively seeking work and, in addition, must not be disqualified under any provisions of the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act.

    Each employer shall deliver the pamphlet “What Every Worker Should Know About Unemployment Insurance” to each worker separated from employment for an expected duration of seven or more days. The pamphlet shall be delivered to the worker at the time of separation or, if delivery is impracticable, mailed within five days after the date of the separation to the workers’ last known address. Pamphlets shall be supplied by the Illinois Department of Employment Security to each employer without cost.
    Every claimant who files a new claim for unemployment insurance benefits must serve an unpaid waiting week for which he has filed and is otherwise eligible.

    The claimant’s weekly benefit amount is usually 49 percent of the worker’s average weekly wage. The worker’s average weekly wage is computed by dividing the wages paid during the two highest quarters of the base period by 26 (please see table below). The maximum weekly benefit amount is 49 percent of the statewide average weekly wage. The minimum weekly benefit amount is $51.
    If your Benefit Year Begins: Your Base Period Will Be:

    This year between: Jan. 1 and Mar. 31
    Apr. 1 and June 30
    July 1 and Sept. 30
    Oct. 1 and Dec. 31

    Last Year between:
    Jan. 1 and Sept. 30 and the year before between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31.
    Jan. 1 and Dec. 31
    Apr. 1 and Dec. 31 and this year between Jan. 1 and Mar. 31
    July 1 and Dec. 31 and this year between Jan. 1 and June 30
    In order to be monetarily eligible, a claimant must be paid a minimum of $1,600 during the base period with at least $440 of that amount being paid outside the highest calendar quarter.

    A claimant may also be entitled to receive, in addition to the weekly benefit amount, an allowance for a non-working spouse or a dependent child or children. The allowance is a percentage of the average weekly wage of the claimant of his/her base period. The weekly benefit amount plus any allowance for a dependent make up the total amount payable. If during a calendar week an employee does not work full time because of lack of work, he/she may be eligible for partial benefits if the wages earned in such calendar week are less than his/her weekly benefit amount. For any such week, employers should provide employees with a statement of “low earnings” which should be taken to the jurisdictional Illinois Department of Employment Security office.
    NOTE: Illinois unemployment insurance benefits are paid from a Trust Fund to which only employers contribute. No deductions may be made from the wages of workers for this purpose. Unemployment insurance information is available from any Illinois Department of Employment Security office. Consult the telephone directory under State of Illinois.
    Each employee who receives tips must report these tips to employers on a written statement or on form UC-51, “Employers Report of Tips,” in duplicate. Employers can furnish this form on request. The report shall be submitted on the day the wages are paid, or not later than the next payday, and shall include the amount of tips received during the pay period.
    Unemployment insurance benefits are taxable if you are required to file a state or federal income tax return. You may choose to have federal tax withheld from your weekly benefits. Since benefits are not subject to mandatory income tax with holding, if you do not choose to withhold, you may be required to make estimated tax payments using Internal Revenue Service Form 1040 ES and the Illinois Department of Revenue Form IL 1040 ES.
    Last edited by laborlaw; 05-24-2005, 07:26 AM.