If you recently lost your job because of COVID-19, you can apply for unemployment benefits here.
On April 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor announced new action regarding how American workers and employers will benefit from the protections and relief offered by the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, both part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). If you are an employer with questions please visit their Employer Fact Sheet. If you are an employee, please visit their Employee Fact Sheet.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act eliminated the federal penalty for states that waive the waiting week during this crisis and Governor Pritzker recently waived the waiting period, so you will be eligible immediately upon losing your job. Additionally, if your unemployment is just temporary and you expect to be re-hired when your employer re-opens, you are still eligible for benefits.
The Families First Act provided $1 billion in funds for states to expand benefits and speed up the processing of their unemployment insurance programs.
Next, the House passed the CARES Act that creates a new program, the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), that provides unemployment benefits to individuals who do not qualify for regular unemployment compensation and are unable to work because of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
What is FPUC?
Through July 31, 2020, the federal government provides a temporary Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) of $600 a week for any worker eligible for state or federal unemployment compensation (UC) benefits. The FPUC would be paid in addition to and at the same time (but not necessarily in the same check) as regular state or federal UC benefits. The FPUC, combined with the underlying state unemployment benefit, would replace 100 percent of wages for the average U.S. worker.
Who is eligible?
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation can cover self-employed workers (including gig workers and independent contractors), part-time workers, and those with limited work histories.Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation will be state-administered but fully federally funded. The program is effective through December 31, 2020.
How does the FPUC impact other Federal program eligibility?
The federal supplement would not affect eligibility for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Please refer to Illinois’ COVID-19-related unemployment FAQ here for further information. If you have any further questions or are having trouble getting your benefits, you can contact the Illinois Department of Employment Security at 1-800-244-5631 or my office at 630-520-9450.