Newsletter July 2016

Illinois Department of Employment Security

Message from the Director of IDES

Employment First

One of our main goals is to put more people back to work more quickly. IDES is shifting its focus from “unemployment to employment” and will serve as the preeminent employment agency to ensure quality service to jobseekers, claimants and employers.

I am t​ruly pleased at how much our team has been able to accomplish so far since last year. Despite the many challenges we face, our tireless team remains dedicated to improving the quality of our customer service to jobseekers and employers, saving taxpayer dollars and laying the foundation towards reaching our goals.

Please learn about our initiatives in this issue of our newsletter. There is more to be done and I look forward to continue serving you.

Jeff Mays

Jeff Mays, Director

Illinois Department of Employment Security

Find success. Find that new career. Go to​ today.​



Employment Service Registration Requirement

On or after July 17, individuals filing for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, and who are subject to the requirement, must complete registration for employment services through, including uploading at least one resume, before being able to receive UI benefit payments. Individuals will not be eligible for UI benefits until they are fully registered. Individuals who are currently receiving unemployment insurance benefits are not required to register again.

Completed registration for employment service will help claimants match their skills to thousands of posted jobs more efficiently. Jobseekers will also gain access to extensive employment services the Department provides, such as free recruiters, information about hiring events, job fairs and more.

This initiative is consistent under the broader federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requirements: a) new UI claims to require complete work registration; b) re-engineering re-employment service and assessment processes to match services to unemployed customer needs; c) improving state’s labor exchange; and d) enhancing the use of labor market information in partnership with educational systems and employers.

The Department is creating awareness of this enhanced enforcement through the media, social media, community partners and other outreach efforts. For more information on the Employment Service Registration Requirement, please see our FAQs. The Department’s press release is available here.

Debit Card Change for Unemployment Insurance Benefits

If you are a claimant and receive your benefit payments on a red IDES MasterCard from Chase, please be aware that your card is being replaced with a blue IDES MasterCard from KeyBank. New cards were issued in June. To avoid payment interruptions, please make sure your address is up to date by signing in or calling (800) 244-5631. For more information on the Debit Card change for Unemployment Insurance benefits, please see our FAQs​​.​

Service Delivery​

IDES is working on creating a nationally recognized Service Delivery system with state-of-the-art call centers, an improved adjudication processes and a revised customer-friendly Unemployment Insurance claims process. This effort will help to improve the agency’s internal and external processes, including at its local offices, internet services and other specialized units to ensure quality customer service.

IDES receives “State Agency of the Year” Award from the Interagency Committee on Employees with Disabilities (ICED)

IDES was honored with the “State Agency of the Year” award on May 11 for its exemplary efforts in providing access to people with disabilities in state employment. Governor Rauner presented the award at the annual Interagency Committee on Employees with Disabilities (ICED) event. Our agency was recognized as setting the standard among state agencies for its flexible and interactive approach to implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Illinois Human Rights Act. More than 15 percent of the Department's 1,196-member staff have disabilities, which is double the state's overall representation.

ICED is composed entirely of volunteer state employees and co-chaired by the Director of the Illinois Department of Human Rights and the Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS).  ICED represents the interests of more than 3,000 employees with disabilities in the Illinois Executive Branch.