LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Frank Avellone | Nov 4, 2011

Avoid Denial or Termination of Unemployment Compensation Benefits in Illinois

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) is the agency administering unemployment compensation insurance benefits in Illinois. The IDES web site is cumbersome and can be difficult to navigate, but contains information on how to apply for unemployment, portals to job openings, and listings of job fairs.

After you apply for unemployment benefits, make sure you promptly read and take action on any notices or letters you receive from IDES. There are strict deadlines for appealing the denial or termination of benefits. Contact an attorney if you are denied or being threatened with terminated of benefits because of alleged quitting without just cause, insubordination, tardiness and absenteeism, misconduct, failure to actively seek work, or other failure to follow the program rules. Don't be discouraged by your employer's negative assessment, and don't take IDES's initial determination as gospel.You may have defenses to assert in the appeal process.

The MOST IMPORTANT STAGE IS THE "TELEPHONE HEARING" before the IDES Hearing Officer or Referee. Don't take it lightly just because the hearing is conducted over the telephone.This is where evidence is taken from you, the employer, and any witnesses and documents. And all appeals beyond the "telephone hearing" are based on the evidence taken at the phone hearing. There is little opportunity to enter new or additional evidence. The deadlines are strict so seek assistance promptly. Even if you are initially granted benefits, your employer could appeal and request a "telephone hearing," so read your mail from IDES and take action.

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