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* Coronavirus / COVID-19: Unemployment

Resources for the unemployed

Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES)

Contact the Illinois Department of Employment Security to:

  • file unemployment claims
  • 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)


Explore careers, training, and jobs at this U.S. Department of Labor website.


Get Hired IL

One-stop shopping for workers at every level and of all backgrounds, including:

  • job opportunities (posted by employers)
  • unemployment resources
  • links to virtual job fairs
  • free training opportunities
  • free workforce development courses


more information


Help Is Here hotline

CALL 1-833-234-6343 (833-2FIND-HELP) for assistance with state services including

  • food security
  • emergency housing
  • child care
  • domestic violence protection
  • Medicaid help
  • mental health services


Job-seeker's guide

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


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.


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.