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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

Uninsured Illinois residents may purchase a healthcare plan now through May 15, 2021.


Job-seeker's guide

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


Lake County assistance

Get help finding food or shelter, securing rent or utility assistance, or connecting to other essential services:

CALL 211

TEXT your zip code to 898211 to speak with someone who can help, 24/7



Stimulus payments

Learn more about the federal government's stimulus payments

Find out the status of the third payment


Tax relief

Visit the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website for info on how individuals and businesses affected by the pandemic can get tax relief.

The IRS has extended the deadline for filing 2020 taxes to May 17, 2021.

GET tax forms


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.