Illinois Unemployment Appealing Denied Benefits Information 

Denied Unemployment Benefits in Illinois

The reasons for denied unemployment benefits in Illinois are varied and may involve an initial disqualification or may occur during the course of your filing for weekly benefits. Should an applicant be denied employment benefits in IL, he or she has the opportunity to file an unemployment denial appeal with the state.

The reasons for denied unemployment, details about the appeal process and the answer to the question, “what can I do if unemployment denied my benefits?” are more covered in the following sections:

•    Reasons for Denied unemployment in Illinois
•    Illinois unemployment compensation benefits denied due to disqualification
•    Unemployment denial appeal in Illinois

Reasons for Denied unemployment in Illinois

Petitioners who have had unemployment benefits denied in Illinois could have been disqualified for the following reasons:

  • Wages paid for “uninsured work” cannot be used as a basis for claiming benefits. See all the examples of uninsured work on the Eligibility page.
  • The petitioner quit his or her job without good cause (see Eligibility page for examples of good cause) or were discharged from employment for misconduct.
  • The petitioner failed, without good cause, to apply for or accept a suitable job that is offered. Under the law, a job is considered unsuitable if: the job opening exists because of a labor dispute; the wages, hours or other working conditions of the job are not as good as those that exist for the same kind of work in the same community; the petitioner’s safety, health or morals may be endangered; the petitioner would have to resign from or be prevented from joining a union to get or keep their job; or the petitioner would displace another worker under a collective bargaining agreement and cause that person to be laid off.
  • The petitioner was discharged because he or she committed a felony or theft in connection with his or her work. In this case, the petitioner may have all their unemployment benefits denied based on wages paid them up to the date of discharge.
  • The petitioner unemployed because a labor dispute has caused a stoppage of work at his or her place of employment, in which case the petitioner may be denied unemployment until the stoppage ends.
  • During the same week that the petitioner claimed unemployment benefits in Illinois, he or she is receiving unemployment insurance benefits from another state or under a federal law, such as the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act.
  • For any week in which the petitioner claimed benefits and he or she received payment in the form of vacation pay, vacation allowance, or stand-by pay for an announced shutdown for inventory.
  • The petitioner is receiving workers’ compensation for a temporary total disability equal to or more than the unemployment insurance benefits they could draw for the week. If the amount is less than the benefits, the petitioner will be paid the difference.
  • The petitioner has not earned the required amount to qualify for a second year of benefits.
  • The petitioner will be paid or has received a retirement pension or other similar periodic payment for the week for which he or she claims benefits.
  • The petitioner’s claim is based on wages earned while he or she worked for an educational institution as a teacher, researcher or administrator, if he or she is between academic terms or on vacation or a holiday recess and has the reasonable assurance of returning the following term.
  • The petitioner is a professional athlete between sports seasons and there is a reasonable assurance that he or she will return to athletic services.
  • The petitioner’s benefits would be based upon wages earned while he or she was an alien who was not a permanent resident and who did not have a work permit.

Illinois unemployment compensation benefits denied due to disqualification

In addition to having unemployment benefits denied due to an initial disqualification, beneficiaries can be denied even after they receive unemployment compensation in Illinois. Beneficiaries will have their plea for continued unemployment compensation benefits denied if they: choose not to actively seek work, are unable or unavailable to work, are not willing to accept a suitable full-time job, do not register with the Illinois Employment Service system, do not maintain and make available their work search efforts, do not certify for benefits every two weeks, or if they do not make scheduled appointments. Unemployment beneficiaries will also experience denied unemployment benefits in Illinois if they fail to participate in re-employment services or if they knowingly make false statements to obtain benefits payments.

Unemployment denial appeal in Illinois

The unemployment applicant can appeal any decision that denies their benefits. The beneficiary can refer to online sources and call Claimant Services for more information about the appeal process. Claimants must file their unemployment denial appeal within 30 days after a letter of denial has been mailed to them. They can file their request by mail or fax at the address or fax number listed in the determination letter. If the last day of the appeal is Saturday or Sunday or any other day that the IDES offices are closed, the appeal may be filed on the next business day that the IDES offices are open. Any request submitted by mail must bear a postmark date within the applicable time limit for filing. Claimants should also continue to certify for benefits regularly as long as their appeal is pending and as long as they remain unemployed.

The unemployment denial appeal will be assigned to an impartial Law Judge (referee) for a hearing and the petitioner will be notified of the date and time. At the hearing, the petitioner will be given every opportunity to present their case. Facts in support of the claim should be presented at this time and any witnesses can be brought in. The person appealing has the right to have legal representation. If the referee decides against the petitioner, the petitioner still has the right to appeal to the Board of Review within 30 days of the referee’s judgement. If the petitioner disagrees with the decision of the Board of Review, he or she can file an appeal in the Circuit Court of the county in which they live.

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