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Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Portal Opening in Illinois May 11

From the Illinois Department of Employment Security

For 1099 workers who have lost work due to COVID-19, a new application portal will open on May 11 via the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) website.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provides 100% federally funded unemployment benefits for those who are not eligible for the state’s regular unemployment insurance program, the extended benefit program or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), including independent contractors and sole-proprietors.

NOTE: Workers who believe they may be eligible for new federal benefits under the PUA program must first apply for regular unemployment insurance before applying for benefits under PUA.

Receiving a denial for regular unemployment benefits is a mandatory first step in determining eligibility for PUA. If you’ve already applied and have been denied regular unemployment, you can submit a claim through the new PUA portal once it opens.

Filing for regular unemployment also provides the opportunity to select how to receive benefits, either by debit card or direct deposit. Debit cards can take up to two weeks by mail while direct deposit payments take two to three days once weekly certification for benefits are completed.

Under PUA, up to 39 weeks’ worth of benefits are potentially available for COVID-19-related unemployment claims. PUA claims will be backdated to the individual’s first week of unemployment, but no earlier than February 2, 2020, and will continue no later than the week ending December 26, 2020.

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