Illinois pua payment status

Illinois pua payment status DEFAULT

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) manages the states’ unemployment insurance program, systems and benefit processing/payments. See further details below (summarized for simplicity from the IDES site) on the newly enhanced benefits available now and how to file a claim.

Keep reading for more details and helpful tips if you are having issues with your unemployment claim. Also check out the comments forum following this article.

End of Federal Enhanced Benefits in Illinois (PUA, PEUC, $300 FPUC and $100 MEUC)

Claimants on the PEUC, PUA, MEUC and FPUC programs filed/certified for benefits for the last time covering the week ending September 4, 2021. Any active claims with or without remaining balances expired after this date.

While there has been a lot of discussion around extending pandemic unemployment benefits, the Biden administration has confirmed that states will have to use already allocated stimulus funding to expand or extend traditional state unemployment programs. IDES has not indicated that is planning to do so at this stage, but I will post updates if things change.

Some claimants may be eligible for State Extended Benefits (SEB), but after September 4th all claimants must have a regular UI claim to continue receiving benefits.

If you still need support, you might be able to receive extra help with other necessities such as child care, food, housing, and health insurance.

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Will Illinois (IL) Unemployment be Extended Again in 2021 or End Early?

With several states ending federally funded unemployment benefits earlier than planned (see full list) to encourage workers to return to work, there was a concern this action could spread nationwide. But the good news for unemployed workers in Illinois is that most of the states cancelling unemployment benefits are Republican led, which Illinois is most certainly not.

IDES has confirmed that Illinois claimants will keep ALL eligible pandemic unemployment benefits, including the extra $300 weekly payment, until the current program end date which would be the week ending September 4th, 2021.

However it should be noted that work search requirements are being more rigorously enforced by IDES and there will be a lot more scrutiny of job rejections if not for pandemic or health related reasons. I will post further updates as they come to light and you can stay connected via the options below.

Unemployment Overpayment Forgiveness

New Legislation has been put in place to forgive unintentional overpayment of unemployment benefits by and signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker. Nearly $125 million of benefits are estimated to have been overpaid, covering around 76,000 claimants. If claimants are approved for the repayment waiver, they won’t have to pay back any unemployment overpayments. Past repayments won’t be refunded however.

No action is needed from claimants at this stage and once systems/programs are updated, IDES will send letters to claimants who were overpaid according to their records. Eligibility will be decided on a case by case basis and you can see more program details here. I will post further updates as details are released.

2021 Biden Stimulus Bill Extensions

Under President Biden’s $1.9 trillion federal coronavirus relief package, known as the American Rescue Plan (ARP), enhanced unemployment benefits have been extended until September 6th. This includes further extensions to the PUA program, PEUC program, $300 weekly payment under the FPUC program and $100 Mixed Earners (MEUC) program. There were also provisions in the Biden Stimulus package for Unemployment tax breaks on the first $10,200 of benefits received in 2020.

Latest News and Status on PUA, PEUC and $300 FPUC Payments

IDES has now implemented the extended weeks under the Biden ARPA plan, which provides coverage until the week ending September 4th, 2021. But as with past rollouts there have been challenges and issues for many claimants. See the comments forum below for more and be aware of the following general guidelines:

  • You do not need to reapply for benefits and you will automatically be enrolled you in the appropriate extension. The exception to this are claimants who live in other states may receive notice that they must file an additional application.
  • You should continue to file your weekly claim for benefits as you normally would as long as you remain unemployed.
  • You will not need to contact the department in order for these program extensions to take effect. They should automatically be reflected in your claim unless an issue arises (look for IDES communication/notifications)
  • The additional weekly payment of $300 under the FPUC program will be extended through September 4, 2021 as well.
  • Claimants may receive determinations and notifications that do not reflect the updated information from the newly passed bill as the state may still be in the process of system programming updates. An accurate monetary determination reflecting all weeks and benefits available to you once programming is updated  
  • Claimants on extended state benefits (EB) as of March 11, 2021 will remain on EB. When they exhaust EB, or EB triggers off, they will transition back to PEUC, which was extended through September 4, 2021.

There are however some known issue many claimants are reporting (see comments below this article for more detailed discussions and options)

  • Many are reporting scam emails to potential claimants asking for personal and private data. Do not share this online or to people you don’t know. Only go to the IDES site to load documents and provide required certifications.
  • Its still hard to get through to someone at IDES for those whose benefits have lapsed. Keep trying as in some instances you will need a live representative to manually progress your claim or to provide additional information to verify your claim.
  • While the PUA and PEUC extensions are now available till Sep 4th, many people are reporting a lapse in benefits, which is mainly due to the need to provide additional documentation (PUA claimants) or not filing a new claim after you have reached your benefit year end.
  • Some people who returned to work and stopped claiming benefits, but are now unemployed again are having a tough time reinstating claim due to manual checks the state UI agency has to do, which is taking more time than expected. Retroactive payments will be made for eligible weeks but this is a known issue.
  • If you previously exhausted your PUA or PEUC benefits, the additional payments cannot be backdated for weeks prior to March 14, 2021.

2021 Unemployment Program Extensions Under COVID Relief Bill

The $900 billion COVID-19 relief package was passed into law on Dec. 27, 2020, which among several other pandemic relief measures extends and provides additional federal funding for enhanced unemployment benefits. This includes the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and a reinstatement, but halving of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) Program which provides a $300 supplemental weekly unemployment payment.

These programs have been funded and extended for 11 weeks (on top of any state funded extensions), covering the weeks of December 27th, 2020 to March 14th, 2021. To receive FPUC benefits, you must first be receiving regular UI, PEUC, EB, or PUA. So if there delays in rolling out or renewing your claim for those programs, then your $300 extra weekly payment will be delayed.

IL IDES Payment Status and Updates on 2021 Unemployment Extensions (PUA, PEUC and $300 FPUC)

[Update Feb 5th, 2021] IDES has recently posted additional updates on the 11-week benefits extension rollout. I have summarized this below and also provided this recent YouTube video update.

  • $300 FPUC: Paying for now for those who can file PUA, PUEC, Regular UI or EB claims. This additional supplemental benefit applies between the week ending January 2, 2021 and the week ending March 13, 2021.
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) – Notification of 11-week Extension to be sent on February 1st, 2021
    • Continued Claimants: IDES is instructing all PUA claimants who applied and were approved for PUA benefits prior to the week ending December 26, 2020, and had not exhausted benefit eligibility, to continue to certify to avoid an interruption in benefit payment.
    • Claimants Who Had Exhausted PUA Benefits: PUA claimants who had exhausted benefit eligibility prior to the week ending December 26, 2020 may remain eligible under the extension provided in the CAA and will be notified by IDES of the additional weeks added to their claim based on the method the claimant selected to receive correspondence from the Department.
    • New Claimants: The PUA system is undergoing technical changes to move new PUA claimants to pay status and begin the process of verifying wage and employment or self-employment information supplied by the claimant. The CAA also includes a limitation on backdating new PUA claims. Per the CAA, in most cases claimants filing a new PUA claim after December 27, 2020 can backdate to December 6, 2020.

Additional PUA Documentation – During the week of February 1, 2021, notices will be sent to inform claimants of the additional 11 weeks of eligibility, in addition to requests to verify employment or self-employment. The notification will include a deadline to provide information to the Department. Individuals filing a new PUA claim on or after January 31, 2021 (regardless whether the claim is backdated), are required to provide this documentation within 21 days of application or the date determined by IDES. Individuals who applied for PUA before January 31, 2021 and receive(d) a payment of PUA on or after December 27, 2020, are required to provide employment or self-employment documentation, or documentation demonstrating the beginning of employment or self-employment, within 90 days of application or the date determined by IDES. These deadlines may be extended if the individual shows good cause, and deadlines will be communicated on verification requests provided by the Department. See examples of documentation required.

  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC): The CAA provides an additional 11 weeks of PEUC benefits. However, claimant transition to PEUC will vary based on how and when claimants exhaust eligibility for benefits within the various regular and federal unemployment programs. Transition will be evaluated and determined on a claimant-by-claimant basis, and claimants will be notified of their transitions.

  • Transition Language Between Programs or with a New Benefit Year: The Department’s subject-matter experts are working through the transition language necessary to maintain eligibility for claimants who may exhaust various programs. This involves programming and testing changes within all programs.
  • Extended Benefits (EB): According to unemployment rate data published by the federal government, the Illinois unemployment rate has fallen below the threshold established by law for the additional 7 weeks of EB to be available in Illinois. Illinois remains triggered onto the standard 13 weeks of EB, and is available to claimants who have exhausted the allotted 26 weeks of regular state unemployment benefits, the 13 weeks of Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) benefits, and (in some cases) the additional 11 weeks of PEUC benefits established under the CAA. Claimants who received 13 or more weeks of EB will transition to the maximum 11 additional weeks of PEUC.

You can see the full IDES guidelines here. I will post additional details as they are released in coming days. So stay tuned for updates.

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[Update Jan 20th] IDES is only paying the extended coverage benefits to active claimants (those who have weeks left to certify). They are still updating their systems to cover those who had exhausted benefits prior to December 27th and are eligible for PUA and PEUC payments under the new 11 week extension. Once that it is done IDES is supposed to notify claimants on instructions to get the extended weeks. When they are able to certify for these weeks, they will also get the supplementary $300 payment. Unfortunately no clear date on when the system updates will be completed.

Per their social media (twitter) updates IDES has begun paying the $300 FPUC supplement for week ending Jan 2, 2021 to locals receiving regular UI, State extended benefits and with active Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims as of December 27th, 2020. Those who had exhausted their benefits prior to December 27th, are still unable to receive benefits under the new extension, including the extra $300 weekly payment. IDES is still updating their systems to make this payment.

Final guidelines on these programs and final eligibility including additional document verification procedures to combat Fraud have been issued by the Department of Labor and then have to be implemented by the state UI agency in their systems and programs. So this could delay the actual date of payments.

UI claimants with existing or expired claim balances should be aware of the following general guidelines:

  • PUA and PEUC, FPUC will be automatically added to the claimants’ benefits if they are eligible for the weeks outlined in the new legislation.
  • IDES advises to continue to certify as normal for the unemployment benefits you’re currently receiving. Regular UI claimants should continue to certify to transition to PEUC and EB (required by new legislation) which will happen once systems are updated.
  • Current PUA claimants can certify for week ending Jan 2, 2021 for no interruption in coverage. The new extension laws require additional documentation verification requirements on new claims, and IDES expects to to resume taking new PUA claims from week of Jan 10th, 2021 (or earlier)
  • Claimants will be retroactively caught up on payments for all weeks they are eligible.
  • Claimants currently receiving benefits through the Extended Benefits program must finish all weeks of EB before receiving additional weeks of PEUC.

Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Program – NOW EXPIRED

IDES has now paid out the $300 weekly payment under the LWA program, which provided supplementary payments to eligible unemployment benefits claimants who were unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. The new LWA payment would be in addition to Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) payments currently available to unemployed workers

IDES has updated their systems to process LWA applications and validate eligibility for benefits under this program with payments starting during the week of September 8th. They will be retroactive to the week of August 1st and only available for 6 weeks ($1800 maximum) due to FEMA funding limitations. Payments are being made in batches with the first round covering 3 weeks (up to $900) based on the original FEMA grant. Subsequent weeks will be paid in separate batches or in one additional 3 week lump sum depending on claimant eligible weeks.

There is no new application for LWA. Claimants eligible for LWA (>$100 in existing UI benefits) will automatically receive LWA funds in addition to their weekly benefit amount. Eligible claimants will get the extra $300 supplementary payment at the same time as their unemployment benefits payment. See more on the IDES LWA page.

Note – Due to the $100 minimum weekly benefit (+ dependent allowance) threshold for existing UI benefits, approximately 60,000 Illinois claimants will be denied access to LWA. This is the main reason many unemployed people are not seeing LWA payments.

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 are a PUA claimant (contractors, self-employed, etc). Instead file for PUA program benefits.

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.

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 via the IDES site. These services are available Monday – Friday from 3:00 AM to 7:30PM. 


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FAQs for Claimants

Eligibility for Regular Unemployment Insurance

What if I quit my job because I am generally concerned over the COVID-19 virus?

An individual who leaves work voluntarily generally cannot receive UI. Your eligibility in this situation will depend on whether you can demonstrate you had a good reason for quitting, and that the reason was because of your employer. You generally must make a reasonable effort to work with your employer to resolve whatever issues made you consider quitting.

What if I can’t leave my home because I must care for my child during the pandemic or because I have COVID-19?

An individual in any of those situations would be unemployed through no fault of their own and might be eligible for UI benefits. However, to qualify for UI, they would still need to meet all other eligibility requirements. For example, the individual must be able and available for work, and show that they are seeking work from home. Individuals can be considered able and available to work if there is some work that they could perform from home (e.g., transcribing, data entry, virtual assistant services).
This individual also must prove that they left their job due to their employer. However, there is an exception to the requirement that the reason for leaving is due to the employer. That exception is when an individual quits a job because a licensed and practicing physician deems them unable to perform the work; or when their employer is unable to accommodate the individual’s need to care for a family member who has been verified to be in poor health or to have a disability.

What if I leave work because my child’s school has temporarily closed, and I have to stay home with the child?

If an individual quits a job due to day care, that individual is generally considered to have quit the job for a reason that is not due to the employer, and will therefore not be eligible for UI benefits.

What if I have reduced wages (part-time work)? Can I work and receive benefits?

Yes, if your earnings for a particular week are less than your weekly benefit amount (WBA), you may be eligible for all or partial benefits for that week. (For this situation, the WBA does not include any dependent allowance.)

Learn more about partial benefits and working part-time.

Am I eligible for unemployment if I am currently receiving income using my vacation days, sick days, or receiving FMLA payments?

Money received from your employer for using your vacation days (under some circumstances), sick days, and FMLA payments, are normally considered wages. This income will impact the amount of benefits you will be eligible for.

What determines if I'm able to work, available for work, and actively seeking work?

To be considered able to work, an individual must be mentally and physically capable of performing a job in an occupation where jobs exist.

To be considered available for work, an individual cannot impose conditions on the acceptance of work if those conditions essentially leave them with no reasonable prospect of work.

To be considered actively seeking work, an individual must reasonably try to return to work. An individual cannot refuse a suitable job offer or they could lose eligibility for benefits.

How do I look for work?

The job search tool makes it easy to look for your next job on If your work search history is requested by IDES, you can use your history to prove your work search activities. 

Am I required to use

Normally, yes. Individuals are required to register with (IJL) to be eligible for unemployment benefits. You will need to register and upload a resume to unless IDES informs you that you fit into one of the narrow exceptions.

I am receiving wages from an employer, and I also have a side business where I am an independent contractor. I lost all of my independent contractor work, but I am still receiving some wages from my employer. Am I eligible for benefits?

The fact that you lost either your side business or a part time job does not make you “unemployed” if you are still working full time or are earning more than your weekly benefit amount (WBA). If you are not employed full time but are still receiving some wages from your employer, you may be eligible to receive benefits if the wages earned from your employer are less than your weekly benefit amount (WBA). Since you have no work as an independent contractor, then you have no earnings outside of your wages with your employer to reduce the benefits that you may be eligible for.

What income do I have to report when I certify every two weeks for benefits?

You must report the amount of all income before taxes or any other deductions are taken out. This is called your gross income. For each of the two weeks you are certifying, you must report the gross income that you earned, even if you will not actually receive the money until later.

I am an undocumented individual. Am I eligible for any unemployment benefits?

In general, individuals who are not lawfully permitted to work in the United States are not able and available to work. In addition, wages earned by an individual who is not lawfully permitted to work cannot be used in establishing a weekly benefit amount. Therefore, that individual would not eligible for unemployment benefits.

I have a green card and was recently laid-off due to COVID-19. Am I eligible for benefits?

Individuals with green cards issued by the federal government are generally able and available to work. Therefore, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits if you meet all the requirements.

I receive a 1099 for the job(s) I do as an independent contractor. Am I eligible for regular UI?

You may be eligible for regular unemployment insurance, as a “1099 employee” is not synonymous with “independent contractor” as defined by the Unemployment Insurance Act.
In Illinois, every individual who is unemployed or underemployed should file a claim for unemployment benefits, even if they have been told they're not covered by the state’s regular unemployment insurance program - because they’re an independent contractor, part of the “gig economy,” or for some other reason. It is possible that whoever told them they were not covered was wrong. Even if an individual’s employer does not consider the worker to be covered and doesn’t pay unemployment taxes on the individual’s wages, the individual can qualify for regular UI benefits if IDES determines he or she is covered under Illinois law. An employer’s failure to contribute to the unemployment system will not impact a claimant’s eligibility for benefits.

I am an independent contractor, but I am only partially unemployed (i.e., my revenue has taken a significant loss, but I am not completely out of work). Can I receive unemployment benefits?

This depends. IDES must determine if your work as an independent contractor is covered under Illinois law, the amount of wages from covered employment you received in the past, and what you are earning currently. You will receive a weekly benefit amount based on your past covered wages. If your current weekly income does not exceed your weekly benefit amount, not including dependent allowance, you may be eligible for benefits for that week. If your income exceeds your weekly benefit amount, then you would not be eligible for benefits for that week.

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With Unemployment extended through September and people remaining on Unemployment Benefits program for the long run, we strongly urge everyone who has not done so yet to enroll now in our Work Search Requirements programto maintain compliance with job search requirements: Bill includes additional funds for audits and fraud prevention, and state unemployment agencies are always looking for reasons to take their money back.
Join everybody else who is taking advantage of our special online program to safely maintain their work search requirements. Our program allows maintaining job search requirements by taking online career workshops. Digital certificates generated instantly after completing each workshop, which you can download for your records, and they are also backed up on our servers. Join today and remain in compliance with works search requirements before it is too late!

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Payment status pua illinois

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PUA overpayments may be forgiven, IDES to issue waivers

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