Illinois Unemployment Required Documents Information 

What Documents Do I Need to File an Unemployment Claim in Illinois

To file an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim, you will need:

  • Social Security number
  • Names and addresses of past employers
  • Number of days worked for each employer
  • Records showing wages earned (including dismissal wages and vacation pay)
  • Records of any pension payments and/or earnings while unemployed
  • Your spouse’s employment status and Social Security number
  • Names, birth dates and Social Security numbers of your children, including stepchildren, adopted children under 18, disabled children regardless of age and any child of whom you have court-ordered custody (bring a copy of court order)

You must also fulfill eligibility requirements.


You are considered “eligible” if:

  • You were unemployed through no fault of your own.
  • You are able, available and actively looking for work.
  • You were unemployed during the week claimed.
  • You were paid $1,600 or more in wages during your base period for insured work.
  • You were paid at least $440 of your base period wages at any time during the base period outside the calendar quarter in which your wages were highest.
  • You are registered for work with IDES.
  • You filed your claim for the week as scheduled.
  • You have served a one “waiting week.”

You may be disqualified if:

  • You quit your job without good cause.
  • You were discharged for misconduct.
  • You failed, without good cause, to apply for or accept a suitable job offered to you.
  • You were discharged because you committed a felony/theft in connection with work.
  • You are unemployed because a labor dispute has caused a stoppage of work at the place where you work.
  • You are receiving UI benefits from another state or under federal law.
  • You are being paid vacation pay, vacation allowance, stand-by pay, retirement pension and/or Social Security payments.
  • You are currently receiving worker’s compensation benefits.
  • You have not earned the required amount to qualify for a second year of benefits.
  • You are not a legal resident of the U.S. or have a work permit.

* Good cause may include: health, sexual harassment, domestic violence, unsuitable work, etc.

Continued Eligibility

After you file a claim, online or in person, you will be assigned a call day to certify benefits. You will also be required to register for job placement service at an IDES office or online at:

After your initial claim, you must certify claims biweekly.

You can certify for benefits using Tele-Serve, a touch-tone voice response system.

To contact Tele-Serve, call 312-338-4337.

You may also report biweekly claims by mail. Ask your local IDES office to make sure you meet the specific conditions to be a designated mail filer.

To certify biweekly claims, you will need:

  • Social Security number
  • Personal Identification Number (PIN)
  • Gross wages earned or holiday pay received during certification period
  • Paper
  • Pencil


It is against the law to omit or misrepresent facts and/or documents to qualify for unemployment insurance benefit payments. Individuals who commit fraud are subject to serious penalties.

You may be subject to:

  • A fine of up to $500
  • Six months in jail
  • No benefits

*Others may apply.

You may not be able to receive benefits until you have served a number of penalty weeks (or two years have elapsed from the time your ineligibility began) and you have repaid the amount of benefits received through fraud or that amount has been recovered from benefits otherwise payable to you.

To report fraud, call 1-877-566-6230 or visit: is a privately owned website that is not owned or operated by any government agency.