The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) today released new statewide data showing the department processed 58,263 new initial claims for regular unemployment benefits during the week ending May 23. The department has now processed 1,302,154 claims for unemployment benefits from March 1 through May 23. This amount is nearly 12 times the number of claims the department processed over the same period last year, when IDES processed just 102,000 claims for regular unemployment benefits. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program has processed 88,965 initial claims in its two weeks. 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 39,414 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. Statewide unemployment claims data, which reflects activity for the week prior, is made available on the IDES website every Thursday afternoon. Previous initial claims data has undergone a revision to properly account for the number of successfully processed claims. Those with questions or in need of assistance with unemployment benefits at this time are encouraged to visit IDES.Illinois.gov.