Illinois (IL) Division of Unemployment Insurance – $600 FPUC, PEUC and PUA

While Ilinois has started paying the $600 FPUC weekly payment to more claimants, it is well behind in processing new claims and making retroactive payments. This is a known issue as their systems are having several technical glitches and struggling to handle the volume of claims. However the good news, per the comments below, is that the number of new claims being processed has improved and more and more people are seeing some of the enhanced Unemployment benefits. Keep reading for more details and helpful tips if you are having issues with your unemployment claim.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) manages the states’ unemployment insurance program. See further details below (summarized for simplicity from the IDES site) on the newly enhanced benefits available now and how to file a claim. And per the official IL IDES website, they are aware of the ongoing issues people are experiencing when filing claims.

COVID 19 Enhanced Benefits

Under the CARES act, there are three types of federal unemployment assistance now available:

• Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC): provides an additional $600 per week, on top of regular benefits, to all recipients of Unemployment Insurance; retroactive to the week ending April 6, 2020. They will see the additional supplemental income applied to their weekly benefit amount. This increase is available through the week ending July 25, 2020.
• Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC): provides an additional 13 weeks of Unemployment benefits to all recipients. If you have exhausted regular unemployment benefits, a Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) claim will be filed for you and up to 13 additional weeks of PEUC benefits will be added to your balance.
• Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA): expands eligibility for individuals who are typically ineligible for
Unemployment benefits, for example independent contractors, and self-employed and “gig” workers. IDES began accepting applications for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program beginning on May 11. Here are the steps to follow to apply:

1. Apply for regular unemployment before you apply for PUA

2. If you applied for regular unemployment and have been denied between April 1, 2019 and today, do not reapply. Go into your regular unemployment account and set up direct deposit for payment.

3. Have your 2019 tax return or proof of income ready and available

4. Be prepared to certify

5. Remember: You must submit a new application for PUA. The two systems are not transferrable.

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


Filing a Claim

If you haven’t already applied, you can File for Regular Unemployment Benefits via the IDES page. Note – Do not re-apply for regular unemployment benefits, if you have applied and been denied within twelve months of today’s date-instead file for PUA.

Within 7-10 days of filing your claim, you will receive a blank debit card and a UI Finding in the mail which will tell you whether you are monetarily eligible for benefits, meaning you have earned sufficient wages in your base period. In general, you are monetarily eligible for benefits if you earned at least $1,600 in covered employment in the first 4 of the last 5 completed calendar quarters, including $440 outside the quarter in which wages were highest. For example, if you earned $1,100 in January 2019 and $500 in July 2019, you earned sufficient wages in your base period to be monetarily eligible.

If your UI Finding says you are not monetarily eligible (weekly benefit amount shows $0), this means that according to reports employers are required to provide IDES of wages paid for services in employment, you were not paid enough wages during your base period to qualify for regular unemployment benefits.

If, during your base period, you did not receive any payments for services that you performed for others (e.g., if you were a sole proprietor), you may apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. See more details here.

Certify or “claim certification” is used to describe how you claim weeks of unemployment and receive payment of benefits if you meet the eligibility requirements. On your assigned day and on a bi-weekly basis, you certify by answering a set of questions.

The best way to certify for payment of benefits is online (links below to IDES site). These services are available Monday – Friday from 3:00 AM to 7:30PM. 

certify_small.png Certify for Payment of Regular Unemployment Benefits​

certify_small.png Certify for Payment of PUA Benefits​

If you filed a claim for benefits and were determined monetarily eligible, read our “What Every Worker Should Know About Unemployment Insurance” brochure to find out what comes next.

If our records are not correct, and you did perform services for a business or another individual and were paid for those services during your base period, please send documentation of the services that you performed and the payments you received to the Department as soon as possible.

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10 thoughts on “Illinois (IL) Division of Unemployment Insurance – $600 FPUC, PEUC and PUA

  1. Question about IDES WBA, mine is less without dependent but more with dependent, does that qualify me for the receive the federal $600 IDES?
    The message when certifying I did not qualify. Waiting for a call back from IDES, just wondering if anyone else is going through this.
    Thanks, Chris

  2. If you go to the IBES il unemployment website – individual- help or documents – there are two forms to request back pay- I used them haven’t heard or received anything yet but maybe it will work

  3. Looks like everyone is having issue w/ retroactive payments here in Illinois… filed 6/6 but have yet to see PUA payments from April and May. Any thoughts? Should I be calling someone? IDES website is pretty convoluted, lol… they really make it hard for us don’t they? Thanks for all the info, Andy, really appreciate your taking the time to put this info together.

  4. I have applied for unemployment and received one payment. I was laid off in March but my boss didn’t let me know I was eligible for unemployment. I filed on June 7th. I asked when I applied by phone how to receive back pay and was told they give it to some people and not to others and she had no idea how they decide who does or does not receive it.

  5. Does regular unemployment and combined wages unemployment (other states) The same form or are they separate applications? If it is the same my weekly amount adds up to $460 with 4 dependents but I think I’m eligible for the full amount of $650 or whatever it is. I can’t get anyone to answer phones at IDES to answer my questions. Hoping someone here can help me.

  6. Can you tell me about retroactive PUA.
    The regular PUA payments and the FPUC are coming but there has been nothing regarding the weeks of retroactive pay. The dates in question are Mid March through Mid May. As stated current payments are coming. When should the retroactive pay arrive?

  7. Where can I go for back paid. I applied March 27,2020 but due to the fact my card was never mailed until the first week of June, So far I have only received 2 weeks paid June 1-June 12,2020. My question is what happens to all my retroactive pay?

  8. Andy,
    If you have an opportunity, could you talk about extended benefits(eb) a little. On the ides(illinois unemployment) twitter page it states that if you exhausted your 26 weeks of unemployment and also exhausted your 13 weeks of pandemic emergency unemployment compensation, then you are eligible for an additional 13 weeks of extended benefits in illinois. The problem is that I have talked to 3 different people at the unemployment department and they all say they have never heard of it and have no idea what I’m talking about even though ironically it states it on their own official twitter page and the us dept of labor’s website says something similar as far as the extended benefits. The reason I’m asking is because my peuc is about to expire in about a month and I’ve already exhausted my 26 regular weeks. Your help would be appreciated more than you know and thank you for all your help with your wonderful articles that help people a lot!! Your a real good human being!!

  9. Ok I filed for PUI on May 11, May 18, go my weekly amount of how much I’ll be getting, $198 a week, it’s Pending, and now in Ajudication, whatever that means which no one is telling me. I’m in forebearance with my mortgage which is ending June 16th and I have no monies to cover it. What’s going on and where can I get answers because I can’t get them on the phone. You get so far and it cuts you off. Made 400 calls already. thanks

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