How Long Do I Have to Work For to Collect Unemployment in Illinois?

Illinois uses a very simple formula for determining unemployment insurance eligibility. The flat qualifying amount (FQA) method is utilized. You must earn a minimum of $1,600 within the entire base period to qualify. You must also earn an additional $440 in wages outside of your highest quarter wages.

Illinois offers both an extended base period and an alternate base period. The alternate base period uses the last four completed calendar quarters of the base period (instead of the first four). The extended base period is available to those workers who received disability under the Worker’s Compensation Act of the Occupational Diseases Act. If you qualify, your base period may be extended up to one year.

In Illinois an employer or employing unit is covered under unemployment insurance if it paid at least $1,500 in wages during any calendar quarter in the current or previous calendar year. Further, an employer/employing unit is also covered under unemployment insurance if it paid wages to at least one employee and employed said worker at least one day per week during the 20 weeks of the current or previous calendar year.

 

10 comments

  • Lakiesha C

    In the state of IL, if you run out of unemployment and have not found any work, are there any other resources available to extend your claim? I am also waiting to start WIOA training soon are there any benefits there?

  • Ree M

    I worked as a babysitter for 6 weeks and made over $2k would I qualify for unemployment ?

    • Not unless employer paid into State of Illinois unemployment insurance. Most people who employ sitters don’t do that. It’s strictly cash work. Even then, these earnings need to have occurred $400/$1600 in two quarters. In other words, you earned $400 before 3/31 and $1,600 between 4/1-6/30. You would need to apply in July to have IL pick up the Mar-June earnings.

  • Lakeba Hunter

    Can you get unemployment benefits after a year if you still haven’t found employment?

  • Nicole

    Iam pregnant and did not know prior to getting hired at my job and i work with food i been awfully sick and iam border line preclymsia i been leaving early due to my symptoms and i work on a point based system i have one point left which i almost used all 8 points also because i have a sick son that just beat cancer and had to miss work for that reason as well it is out of my controll and if i get fired are my chamces of getting unemployment good i been there 3 months

  • Francine Shrewsbury

    My fiancee worked for an employer for approximately 16 weeks in 2016 in the state of Illinois and he Did meet the wages requirement. Is he eligible for unemployment benefits? Or would he had to have worked for at least 20 weeks?
    When completing the online application, it showed his approximate benefits at $0.

    • Does he comply with this:

      You must earn a minimum of $1,600 within the entire base period to qualify. You must also earn an additional $440 in wages outside of your highest quarter wages.

      If so, Illinois may not have his wages in its database and he will need to provide W2s and/or paystubs.

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