IDES Processes More Than 1.2 Million Claims in Last Eleven Weeks

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) today released new statewide data showing the department processed 72,780 new initial claims for regular unemployment benefits during the week ending May 16. The department has now processed 1,226,394 claims for unemployment benefits from March 1 through May 16. This amount is 12 times the number of claims the department processed over the same period last year, when IDES processed just 93,000 claims for regular unemployment benefits.  The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, launched May 11, processed 74,515 initial claims in its first week.  PUA provides 100% federally-funded unemployment benefits for individuals who are unemployed for specified COVID-19-related reasons and are not eligible for the state’s regular unemployment insurance program, the extended benefit (EB) program under Illinois law, or the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program (PEUC), including independent contractors and sole-proprietors.  Up to 39 weeks’ worth of benefits are potentially available under the program for COVID-19-related unemployment claims.  IDES processed 36,367 Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation claims (PEUC), which provides up to 13 weeks’ worth of 100% federally funded benefits to individuals who have exhausted their regular state unemployment benefits.  PEUC is potentially available for weeks beginning on or after March 29, 2020 and continuing through the week ending December 26, 2020. The Department also announced state extended benefits (EB) are now available to those who exhaust the allotted 26 weeks of regular state unemployment and the additional 13 weeks of federal PEUC benefits.  EB provides an additional 13 weeks of regular unemployment benefits and is made available when the state experiences a high unemployment rate.  The Illinois unemployment rate currently sits at 16.4%.Statewide unemployment claims data, which reflects activity for the week prior, is made available on the IDES website every Thursday afternoon.  PUA claims data will follow these same federal embargo provisions, with this week’s data available on Thursday, May 21.  Previous initial claims data has undergone a revision to properly account for the number of successfully processed claims.


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