Illinois begins Unemployment Insurance benefits extension with more than $20 M in payments

Seal of the State of Illinois

“I am pleased that we have been able to help thousands of people start to feel the financial relief they need right now.  In this economy, Illinois families are struggling with high food and fuel prices, and many have lost or are facing potential job loss.  I again thank our delegation for helping us assist those individuals that need the extra support to pay their bills and make ends meet,” Governor Blagojevich said.

The EUC 08 extension provides for up to 13 weeks’ worth of additional, federally-funded unemployment benefits for those who have exhausted their rights to regular state unemployment benefits and are not eligible for other state or federal unemployment benefit programs.  Eligible individuals are Illinois claimants whose regular benefit claims expired on or after May 1, 2007, and who have been paid wages for the equivalent of 20 weeks of full time employment, based on a formula set forth in the law.

IDES notified 187,000 individuals who are potentially eligible for these extended benefits.  When possible for individuals who still have an active benefit year, IDES was able to automatically establish the extended benefits claim.  Individuals whose benefit year has ended are instructed to visit their local office to determine eligibility and, if possible, establish a new Ad 1 benefit year.  For more information regarding Illinois’ UI benefits extension, call your local IDES office or visit or

“More than half of the claims processed thus far have resulted in an initial payment of extended benefits, with some cases allowing rapid re-certification immediately via our TeleServe program,” said IDES Director James P. Sledge.  “Current job market conditions are making it tough for Illinois’ workers to find new jobs.  The EUC 08 UI benefits extension was critical for our workers and is providing much-needed assistance to individuals as they continue the job search.”