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Coronavirus Info Guide: Unemployment

Resources for the unemployed

Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES)

Contact the Illinois Department of Employment Security to:

  • file unemployment claims
  • get unemployment insurance (temporary financial assistance to workers unemployed through no fault of their own and who meet Illinois' eligibility requirements)
  • certify for benefits
  • look for work
  • report fraud and ID theft related to IDES benefits

To ensure that all applicants can be served, please contact IDES online or by telephone on:

  • Sunday, Tuesday, or Thursday if your last name begins with A–M 
  • Monday, Wednesday, or Friday if your last name begins with N–Z
  • Saturday if you are unable to contact/call IDES on your designated day


CALL 800-244-563 (7:30 AM–6 PM CT)

Get answers to frequently asked questions

This U.S. government resource compiles information for unemployment benefits available in each state. Learn what assistance you're eligible to receive:

VISIT the Benefit Finder (interactive tool)

more information

Health insurance

Certain life events, like losing health coverage, moving, getting married, having a baby, or adopting a child, may qualify you to enroll in or change Marketplace health plans outside the yearly Open Enrollment Period, which starts November 1, 2021.


Careers & Job-Hunter's Guide

View the library's Help Guide for finding employment or changing jobs.


To report identity theft

Some Lake County residents have had their identity stolen and fraudulently used to get Illinois Department of Employment Services (IDES) debit cards. Most individuals find out about this when they receive an IDES debit card or a letter about unemployment insurance. To report identity theft:

CALL 800-814-0513; select option 1 for claimants, then option 5 to report the identity theft

You should also contact your local police department. Do not activate the card, and be sure to check your credit report for unauthorized activity, such as applications for additional credit cards.