Termination From Your Job Does Not Guarantee Unemployment Benefits

By: Heidi A. Kuffel

August 31, 2015

Many people will file for unemployment through the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) once they are terminated by their employer. In order to qualify for unemployment benefits, the former employee or claimant will need to have lost his or her job through no fault of their own, be available for new work and actively seeking work. However, the employer still has the opportunity to protest the claimant’s eligibility for unemployment. A reason an employer may protest the claim is that the claimant left work voluntarily and was not, in fact, terminated or that although the claimant was terminated, it was, in fact, because of his or her misconduct.

After receiving the employer’s notice of claimant’s possible ineligibility, the IDES will attempt to gather more information regarding the separation of employment. It will then issue a determination. If the IDES determines that the claimant is ineligible, claimant will be denied unemployment benefits. The claimant can still appeal this determination by filing an appeal within thirty (30) days from receiving the adjudicator’s determination.

Claimant’s appeal allows for the scheduling of a telephonic hearing. Both parties are given notice of the hearing and instructed to provide any documents they intend to introduce as evidence at the hearing at least 24 hours prior to the hearing. It is crucial that both the administrative law judge and the opposing side receive the documents intended to be used at the hearing at least 24 hours in advance, or the administrative law judge may deny the usage of the documents. You must also be available to receive the call at the time designated on the correlating notice of telephonic hearing.

After the hearing is completed, the administrative law judge will issue a decision as to whether the claimant is eligible for unemployment benefits. If the claimant disagrees with the determination, he or she may file a written appeal to the Board of Review within thirty (30) days from the issuance of the administrative law judge’s determination.

If you have recently become unemployed or have questions about unemployment benefits, contact attorney Heidi A. Kuffel at Lavelle Law, Ltd. at (847) 705-7555 or hkuffell@lavellelaw.com to schedule your free and confidential one-hour consultation.