Unemployment benefits may be available to some individuals whose unemployment is attributable to COVID-19. IDES recently adopted emergency rules to try to make the unemployment insurance system as responsive to the current situation as possible.

What is Unemployment Insurance (UI)?

In general, UI provides temporary income maintenance to individuals who have been separated from employment through no fault of their own and who meet all eligibility requirements, including the requirements that they be able and available for work, register with the state employment service and actively seek work. Click here for more information.

What determines if I’m able to work?

An individual is considered able to work if he or she is mentally and physically capable of performing a job for which a labor market exists.

What determines if I’m available for work?

To be considered available for work, an individual cannot impose conditions on the acceptance of work if those conditions essentially leave him or her with no reasonable prospect of work.

What determines if I’m actively seeking work?

An individual is considered to be actively seeking work if he or she is making an effort that is reasonably calculated to return the individual to work.

What if I’m temporarily laid off because the place where I work is temporarily closed because of the COVID-19 virus?

An individual temporarily laid off in this situation could qualify for benefits as long as he or she was able and available for and actively seeking work. Under emergency rules IDES recently adopted, the individual would not have to register with the employment service. He or she would be considered to be actively seeking work as long as the individual was prepared to return to his or her job as soon the employer reopened.

What if I quit my job because I am generally concerned over the COVID-19 virus?

An individual who leaves work voluntarily without a good reason attributable to the employer is generally disqualified from receiving UI. The eligibility of an individual in this situation will depend on whether the facts of his or her case demonstrate the individual had a good reason for quitting and that the reason was attributable to the employer. An individual generally has a duty to make a reasonable effort to work with his or her employer to resolve whatever issues have caused the individual to consider quitting.

What if I’m confined to my home 1) because a licensed physician has diagnosed me as having COVID- 19 or 2) because I must stay home to care for my spouse, parent or child, whom a medical professional has diagnosed as having COVID-19 or 3) because of a government-imposed or government-recommended quarantine?

An individual in any of those situations would be considered to be unemployed through no fault of his or her own. However, to qualify for UI, he or she would still need to meet all other eligibility requirements, including the requirements that the individual be able and available for work, registered with the state employment service and actively seeking work from the confines of his or her home. The individual would be considered able and available for work if there was some work that he or she could perform from home (e.g., transcribing, data entry, virtual assistant services) and there is a labor market for that work.

What if I leave work because my child’s school has temporarily closed, and I feel I have to stay home with the child?

Ordinarily, an individual who left work to address child care needs would be considered to have left work voluntarily and would generally be disqualified from receiving UI, unless the reason for leaving was attributable to the employer. However, the fact that all schools statewide have temporarily closed in response to the COVID-19 virus presents a unique situation in which it is unlikely a parent whose child cannot stay home alone has a ready alternative to staying home with the child himself/herself. Under the current circumstances, someone who left work to care for the child could be considered as unemployed through no fault of his her own; in that case, to qualify for UI, the individual would still need to meet all other eligibility requirements, including the requirements that the individual be able and available for work, registered with the state employment service and actively seeking work from the confines of his or her home. The individual would be considered able and available for work if there was some work that he or she could perform from home (e.g., transcribing, data entry, virtual assistant services) and there is a labor market for that work.

I have exhausted my rights to UI. Will additional benefits be available because of the COVID-19 situation?

At this point, no additional UI is available to individuals who have already received the full 26 weeks’ worth of benefits for their current benefit years.

For Employers:

If an employee receives unemployment benefits as a result of COVID-19, will the employer’s unemployment contribution rate increase?

At this time, no further guidance has been issued. Until such time, normal procedures will be followed. In general, the contribution rate of an experience rated employer is based, in part, on the amount of unemployment benefits paid to the employer’s former employees.

Potential Closure or Layoff

Rapid Response Services are available to employers who are planning or have gone through a permanent closure or mass layoff at a plant, facility, or enterprise, or a natural or other disaster, that results in mass job dislocation. The State Dislocated Worker Unit coordinates with employers to provide on-site information to workers and employers about employment and retraining services designed to help participants retain employment when feasible, or obtain re-employment as soon as possible. For more information, visit Rapid Response Services for Businesses or contact your local Illinois workNet Center.

Category: COVID-19

Federal Stimulus FAQ April2020

Federal Stimulus FAQ April2020

Category: COVID-19

The Illinois Department of Human Services has implemented a free emotional support text line to help Illinoisans cope with the increasingly long list of stressors in our lives right now.

Q: Who is eligible for the statewide telehealth services hotline? How can I sign up?
A: A person is eligible if they are showing COVID-19 symptoms, or is at a high risk of contracting the virus, but does not require emergency or inpatient care, and can be digitally monitored at home. The OSF Hotline number is now available: (833) 673-5669. More information can be found at www.osfhealthcare.org

Q: What services are provided through the telehealth services hotline?
A: Pandemic Health Workers (PHWs) will virtually visit recipients daily, deliver wellness kits that include essential tools to monitor their health, and follow-up over a 14-day period to ensure no further assistance is needed. Wellness kits will include items such as thermometers, pulse oximeters, blood pressure cuffs, and alcohol wipes.

Q: Where can I access the statewide mental health support hotline (Call4Calm) the Governor announced?
A: The Department of Human Services launched a free emotional support text line, for Illinois residents experiencing stress and mental health issues related to COVID-19. Individuals who would like to speak with a mental health professional can text:
• For English text “TALK” to 5-5-2-0-2-0
• For Spanish text “HABLAR” to 5-5-2-0-2-0
• Individuals can also text key words such as “unemployment” or “food” or “shelter” and will receive information on how to access these services.

We are in this together, and there is help available to those who need it.

Category: COVID-19

Our office fields a lot of questions and we work hard to provide you with timely answers. Due to this volume, we compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions, which you'll find below.

We hope this helps. Our best to you and your families, and stay healthy!

Taxes

Q: Some taxpayers may have already scheduled an income tax payment to be made on or before April 15th. How do they cancel or reschedule an income tax payment to be made on or before April 15, 2020?

A: If you scheduled an electronic payment for 2019 income taxes to be paid on or before April 15, 2020, your payment will not automatically be rescheduled to July 15, 2020. If you do nothing, the payment will be made on the date you chose.
The Department of Revenue released a set of instructions for a taxpayer to cancel or postpone any previously scheduled payments.

Business Compliance

Q: Are truck dispatchers considered essential?
A: Under Executive Order 10 and as continued by Executive Order 18, manufacture, distribution, and supply chain for critical products and industries are considered essential businesses. For essential business inquiries: contact 1-800-252-2923 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Q: How long will the restaurant and bar closure last?
A: On-site consumption at restaurants and bars is currently scheduled to be closed from Monday, March 16th through Thursday, April 30th, per Executive Order 10 and Executive Order 18. We will continue to evaluate this timeline and announce any updates as soon as we have them. Delivery, drive-through, carryout and curbside pickup will continue to be allowed at all restaurants able to provide these services.

Unemployment

Q: How does the federal unemployment benefits package affect current unemployment policies in Illinois?
A: Once the stimulus package has been implemented in Illinois, individuals receiving unemployment benefits will receive an additional $600 each week above what they would receive in regular unemployment benefits until July 31, 2020. This will not be retroactively applied to unemployment benefits received in the past. In many cases, individuals will also be eligible for more weeks of unemployment above the 26 weeks provided under regular unemployment rules. Both of these benefits will be applied automatically if you qualify.

Housing

Q: What if my home is not a safe environment?
A: If it is not safe for you to remain home, you are urged, if you are able, to find another safe place to stay during this order. Please reach out so we can help. You may call the domestic violence hotline at 1-877-863-6338 or contact your local law enforcement.

Insurance

Q: What are insurance companies doing regarding cancellations and renewals?
A: Insurers should seek to postpone or withdraw any previous notice of cancellation or nonrenewal in which the cancellation or nonrenewal occurs on or after March 9, 2020 on any in-force policy. Insurers should consider postponing the issuance of any new cancellation or nonrenewal notices through April 30, 2020, or a later time if considered reasonable given an individual consumer’s circumstance. Insurers are asked to continue coverage, even in cases of unpaid premium, through at least April 30, 2020. Please review more information from the Department of Insurance here.

Other

Q: What precautions should people take who have essential travel?
A: If you are planning a trip or having family/friends visit please review these travel notes from the CDC and be aware of precautions and additional steps being put into place.

Q: There have been reports that state park employees are back at work. Are state parks being reopened? Will the Governor consider opening state parks?
A: At this time, six states, including Illinois, have decided to fully close their parks and recreational areas. Popular federal sites, including portions of the Shawnee National Forest, also are now closed to visitors to help prevent further spread of COVID-19. Locally, county and municipal parks across Illinois have closed in recent days due to large crowds and as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to increase in downstate counties.

While activities at state parks, fish and wildlife areas, recreational areas and historic sites have been suspended in support of our efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19, the need for upkeep has not. Staff from IDNR’s Office of Land Management continue to work at sites to complete necessary projects and maintenance while adhering to public health directives, including staying at least six feet away from fellow staff members and staying home when sick. Additional
precautions include:

• Not allowing more than one person in a state vehicle at a time;
• Wiping down all equipment before and after use;
• Wearing gloves as much as possible;
• Asking employees to bring lunch from home and not congregate during lunch periods or breaks;
• Increased cleaning of bathrooms, buildings and frequently used office items; and
• Refraining from working in close quarters in enclosed spaces.

IDNR is working closely with the Governor’s Office and the Illinois Department of Public Health to assess when our sites may be reopened safely.

Category: COVID-19

COVID19 Resources

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CONTACT SENATOR HASTINGS

Welcome to the official website of Senator Michael E. Hastings. Please fill out our contact form to contact Senator Hastings directly or you may call any of our offices. We look forward to hearing from you.

Springfield Office:
118 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-9595

East Office:
813 School Ave
Matteson, IL 60443

District Office:
20855 South LaGrange Road
Frankfort, IL 60423
(815) 464-5431

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