Illinois Implements Federal Stimulus Package Unemployment Benefits

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) has announced its implementation of expanded unemployment benefits under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, including:

  • An additional $600 per week for individuals receiving benefits from March 29, 2020 through the week ending July 25, 2020.
  • Up to 13 additional weeks of federally funded unemployment benefits, through December 31, 2020, for those who have exhausted regular benefits, which the IDES expects to have implemented the week of April 20, 2020.
  • Benefits available for individuals not typically eligible for unemployment benefits who have been affected by COVID-19, including independent contractors and sole proprietors. Given that Illinois has one of the largest “gig economies” in the country, this benefit may serve as a veritable lifeline for many struggling during this crisis.

Even though the recent influx of claims has stressed unemployment offices nationwide, the IDES has specifically advised that “every individual who is unemployed or underemployed should file a claim for unemployment benefits, even if they believe they are not covered by the unemployment system.”

For more information and to discuss these benefits further, please contact a member of Gould & Ratner’s Human Resources and Employment Practice.