Illinois Department of Employment Security Preparing to Administer New Federal COVID-19 Relief Legislation

Illinois Department of Employment Security Preparing to Administer New Federal COVID-19 Relief Legislation

The Illinois Department of Employment Security announced Monday (Dec. 28, 2020) that it “remains committed to implementing newly announced federal unemployment benefits and relief measures as quickly and effectively as possible.

President Donald Trump signed the omnibus spending bill, H.R. 133, on Sunday, Dec.. 27. According to an IDES news release, IDES and state unemployment agencies nationwide are awaiting further U.S. Department of Labor guidance to begin supporting claimants.

Claimants are encouraged to check the IDES website and social media platforms for additional updates.

Department officials said they will share additional information as soon as it becomes available.

Included in the bill were critical extensions to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, and Extended Benefits programs, which technically expired on Dec. 26 because of the delay in the presidential signature.

“Because of this delay, IDES and all other state unemployment agencies await guidance on how to move forward with continuing to accept and pay benefits under these programs,” the news releases said.

In addition to guidance surrounding existing federal unemployment programs, this new legislation includes an option for states to implement the Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation  program.

Illinois and IDES plan to adopt the MEUC program, which addresses mixed-income earners who have self-employment income but are disqualified from receiving PUA because they are eligible to receive regular unemployment benefits.

“The department will do everything in its capacity to ensure claimants experience as seamless a transition as possible given that this new law contains changes to existing programs that all states must now work to implement” said IDES Acting Director Kristin Richards.

Since March, IDES has paid out more than $19 billion in benefits.

SOURCE: Illinois Department of Employment Security news release

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