10 Things You Should Know

To help process your claim without delay, please provide accurate and complete information on your unemployment claim application. This includes making sure you list all your employers you worked for in the last 18 months. If an employer name is unfamiliar, please review your check stub or W2 to confirm the employer name reported on your claim application before reporting you did not work for that employer. If you worked in another state, make sure you tell us what state you worked in.

Failure to provide all the requested information means your claim will have to be manually reviewed and corrected by IDES staff. If IDES is unable to make the corrections, prior to when you certify (request payment), your benefits will be delayed or the amount you receive will be less than it should be.


  1. Accurately Report the Reason You Are Unemployed.
    Accurately report your reason for separation from your job when you initially file your claim for benefits.

  2. Report Any Wages You Are Earning.
    You must report your gross wages for each week you work. Report all earnings, including part-time or temporary work.

  3. Be Available for Work.
    You must search for work each week or benefits may be denied. See FAQs to understand what this means to you.

  4. Actively Search for Work.
    You must search for work each week or benefits may be denied. See FAQs to understand what this means to you.

  5. Develop & Document an Effective Work Search Plan.
    An organized and documented job search improves your chances of employment. All claimants are required by law to document work search activities.

  6. Use IllinoisJobLink.com To Search For A Job.
    IllinoisJobLink.com is IDES' online database that helps connect job seekers to employers in Illinois.

  7. Do Not Pay An Agent To File Your Claim.
    The use of paid third-parties to file your claim and/or communicate with IDES is very risky and discouraged. Do not share your personal information with anyone.

  8. Do Not Commit Fraud.
    Follow the rules to prevent yourself from committing fraud. Failure to follow legal requirements has serious consequences.

  9. Know Your Responsibilities and Ask for Help.
    If you have questions, please call (800) 244-5631. In advance, we thank you for your patience and understanding as we experience an extremely high call volume. To quickly find answers to your unemployment insurance questions, click Frequently Asked Questions.

  10. Don't Delay - As soon As You Begin Working Again, Report Your Return to Work.
    Notify IDES as soon as you begin working. Avoid committing fraud; do not wait until you receive your first paycheck.

File Your Claim for Regular Unemployment Insurance

***  I certify that I have followed this link and read the information regarding terms, conditions, and fees associated with the debit card. I understand that I may select direct deposit as an alternative payment method.

Choose Direct Deposit! If you choose direct deposit, then your benefits will be directly deposited into your bank account. Direct Deposit is simple, fast, convenient, safe and reliable!

Note: Any information submitted by you to IDES may be verified through computer matching progams in order to determine your eligibility for Unemployment Insurance benefits.​