Benefit Year Ending Information

If you applied for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits in 2020, you may be nearing your benefit year ending (BYE) date. Here’s what that means for you.

Key Points

  1. Expiration of your benefit year occurs one year after you first filed your claim.
  2. Don’t worry! IDES will review your claim information and place you in the appropriate program. If any issues come up, we’ll reach out.
  3. Keep certifying as normal. There’s no need to get in line for a callback if your benefit year is ending.

Is my benefit year ending? Why?
When you first apply for unemployment insurance, you begin a new benefit year.

A benefit year lasts exactly 52 weeks from when you first filed. This applies regardless of what program you’re on once you reach your BYE date (Regular UI, PEUC, EB, or PUA).

Once this benefit year ends, a new eligible claim needs to be established to continue receiving benefits. This will be done for you.

How do I find my benefit year ending (BYE) date?
Your BYE date is located on your initial UI Finding letter (see example below). Your benefit year lasts exactly one year from the date when you first filed for UI benefits.

My benefit year is ending, but I still qualify for benefits. What do I do?
Continue certifying as normal.

Depending on when you worked and how much you earned since you first applied for benefits last year, you may qualify for extended federal benefits or for an entirely new claim. IDES will review your claim and move you onto the most appropriate program. Because the federal programs were extended through September 4, 2021, most claimants who filed during the pandemic will still have eligible weeks to claim.

Do I need to call to start a new benefit year?
There’s no need to call IDES if your benefit year is ending. If there are any questions when we review your claim, we will either call you or send you a letter with instructions. Otherwise, all you need to do is to keep certifying as you normally do.

Do I need to file a new claim?
No, you don’t need to file a new claim. Once IDES reviews your case, we’ll set up your new benefit year through what’s called a Transitional Claim. All you need to do is to keep certifying as normal.

My BYE date passed, and my benefits are delayed. Did something go wrong?
If you experience a brief delay in payment, there’s no need to worry. IDES is working to transition your claim to the appropriate program, and we appreciate your patience.

Important Terms and Abbreviations:

  • UI - Unemployment Insurance program
  • PEUC - Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, an extension of the UI program
  • EB - Extended Benefits, an extension of the UI program
  • BYE - Benefit Year Ending (ends exactly one year after individuals first apply for UI benefits)
  • PUA - Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
  • IDES - Illinois Department of Employment Security
UI finding sample letter