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Illinois Unemployment Extensions Information

We are an online resource to help answer your questions, check eligibility and assist in applying for Unemployment. You will also be advised if you qualify for additional benefit programs and receive our benefit guide.

Illinois Unemployment Benefits Extension


Illinois unemployment beneficiaries wondering, “what can I do to extend unemployment” and wanting to learn how to get an unemployment extension will benefit from reading this section. There are guidelines for a federal unemployment extension, and there are two types of an unemployment benefits extension. 


As a general rule, federal unemployment extension programs are only available during periods when the nation is experiencing a high unemployment rate. One of the two federal unemployment extension programs is called the Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08) which was a one-time legislative effort to assist those who lost their jobs during the Great Recession that began in 2008.The other is called Federal-State Extended Duration (FED-ED). However, these two unemployment extension programs are not currently active in the United States.

For those wanting to learn more about an unemployment compensation extension and discover the answer to the question, “how can I extend unemployment?” please review the following sections:
•    Unemployment compensation extension in Illinois 
•    Emergency unemployment compensation in Illinois
•    Federal-state extended duration in Illinois

Unemployment Compensation Extension in Illinois 


During times when the unemployment rate remains high, the United States Congress can vote to extend unemployment benefits for an additional period of time. Unemployment benefits extension programs are available through both the state and federal governments during periods of high unemployment rates, providing a higher level of economic security to individuals who are out of work. Extended benefits can also be obtained by workers who have run through their regular unemployment insurance benefits. The basic Extended Benefits program allows beneficiaries receive 13 additional weeks of aid if a state is experiencing a period of high unemployment. Some states have also initiated a voluntary program to pay an additional seven weeks of extended benefits, totaling a maximum of 20 benefit weeks.


Not everyone who qualifies for regular benefits qualifies for extended benefits. The weekly benefit amount of extended benefits is the same as the amount the recipient receives for regular unemployment compensation.
It is critical to note that you cannot just apply for extended benefits on any given day. An unemployment benefits extension is only available when IL is experiencing very high rates of unemployment. It is only during these times that the state and federal government will activate extended benefit programs, and they will mail out notifications to candidates who are eligible to receive extended benefits.


Unemployment beneficiaries who are unsure about whether they might be eligible for an unemployment compensation extension can always contact an unemployment counselor to check on whether extended benefits are available.


Emergency Unemployment Compensation


The federal unemployment extension program called the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08) expired in 2013. It is not presently known if the program will become active again. If you are curious about the EUC08 program, it is suggested that you contact the Illinois labor authorities or follow developments in the national news.

For purposes of information, the EUC08 program included four stages:
Stage 1 EUC08:  20-week maximum unemployment extension 
Stage 2 EUC08:  14-week maximum unemployment extension
Stage 3 EUC08:  13-week maximum unemployment extension
Stage 4 EUC08:    6-week maximum unemployment extension


In general, if an unemployment beneficiary consumes all of his or her regular unemployment benefits, the beneficiary normally does not have to apply for an unemployment benefits extension because the system automatically applies for eligible claimants on their behalf. If a beneficiary is approaching the point where his or her benefits are running out, her or she should contact an employment counselor to see if an unemployment extension is available to them.


Federal-State Extended Duration in Illinois


Another unemployment extension program is the Federal-State Extended Duration (FED-ED), also called Extended Benefits (EB). You can only qualify for an EB unemployment benefits extension if you have exhausted all of your regular unemployment benefits and also used up all of your EUC08 unemployment extension. If you qualify for an EB unemployment extension, you will receive additional benefits in the amount of 20 weeks, or 80 percent of the maximum benefit amount on the original unemployment claim, whichever amount is less.


Remember, unemployment benefits extension programs are only available during times when the nation is experiencing periods of high unemployment rates. If you are eligible for an unemployment extension, the government will notify you by mail.