Independent contractors, sole proprietors, gig workers and those who receive 1099 tax forms, who up to this point have not been eligible for jobless benefits, can apply for out of work benefits beginning Monday, May 11. The new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provides 100% federally-funded unemployment benefits to out-of-work Illinoisans who are not eligible for the state’s traditional unemployment programs.
Before becoming eligible for PUA benefits, this classification of out-of-work Illinoisans must have first applied through the regular IDES unemployment channels and been denied benefits. It is a required first step, because the letter of denial of benefits is mandatory for determining eligibility within the new PUA system.
The new portal for the PUA program opens on Monday as part of the IDES website. PUA claims will be backdated to ensure benefits from the filer’s first week of job loss, with an earliest unemployment date of February 2, 2020, and benefits will continue as long as the individual remains unemployed due to COVID-19, but no later than December 26 of this year. Click here to learn more.