Workers who have temporarily lost their jobs because of the many business closures and restrictions during the coronavirus outbreak may qualify for the state’s extended unemployment benefits if they expect to be able to return to work when the emergency ends. It is just one of the many ways state government is responding to the disease outbreak in Illinois.
The emergency rule from the Department of Employment Security (IDES) is meant to assist workers whose jobs have been impacted by the unprecedented actions necessitated by the illness.
The state is also acting to assist those who are unable to work, but do not have sick leave, such as parents with children who are home from closed schools. To apply for these benefits, get in touch with IDES at 1-800-244-5631 or go to their website to apply for benefits. If you have questions about how to sign up for unemployment benefits in Illinois, click here.
As an emergency measure, Congress has lifted some requirements of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. More information about this federal program can be found here. Meanwhile, Illinois is still accepting applications for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, which helps Illinois adults with children under the age of 19. To find out if you qualify or to apply, click here.
The state recently filed a waiver with the federal government to expand Medicaid coverage, with the intention of ensuring that everyone who needs medical care due to coronavirus is able to access it. People in Illinois between the ages of 19 and 64 who meet certain eligibility requirements can sign up for Medicaid benefits from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.
Help is also available from many non-profits and private groups.
For example, the National Charity Foundation of the United States Bartender Guild is offering assistance to employees of bars who have experienced job disruption because of the statewide closures. More information is available here.