How to file for unemployment benefits for temporary layoff
January 23, 2008 11:31 AM   Subscribe

How can my husband collect unemployment benefits for temporary layoffs, in Illinois?

Mister joleta works for Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab). Due to Dept. of Energy budget cuts and lack of funds, the lab is requiring all employees to take rolling unpaid furloughs rather than close down the lab entirely. As a salaried exempt worker, my husband will have to take one week of unpaid furlough every two months for an eight-month period (February through September). Things will be tight, but we'll survive. One of the FAQs on the Fermilab site says that furloughed employees can apply for unemployment benefits, but I can't find any information on the IDES web site about intermittent temporary layoffs of one week duration, other than than the following (see pgs 43-44 here):
"A local unemployment insurance office may instruct a claimant that he or she is exempt from registering in person with the employment service office for one of the following reasons (56 III. Adm. Code 2865.100):
. . .
"2. The claimant’s unemployment is due to a temporary layoff that does not exceed four weeks in duration."

This implies that one can receive unemployment compensation for temporary layoffs, but I can't find anywhere that explains how this is done. I know that in Illinois you don't get unemployment compensation for the first week of unemployment (the "waiting week"). But with intermittent layoffs, each furlough week is the "first" week, unless they can be somehow strung together into one period of unemployment. Can someone point me to a link explaining how this would work or give actual experiences. Three weeks of unemployment benefits is better than nothing.
posted by Joleta to Work & Money (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
First I would contact the local unemployment office and ask them. If you don't get the answer you want he should ask around work as he will not be the only person researching this issue. The personnel department at the lab may also have answers.
posted by caddis at 12:49 PM on January 23, 2008

From the statute section 500D: If his benefit year begins prior to July 6, 1975 or subsequent to January 2, 1982, he has been unemployed for a waiting period of 1 week during such benefit year.

It looks like the waiting period only counts once per year such that the subsequent weeks of furloughs will be paid. He will have to seek other work during the furlough weeks.
posted by caddis at 1:02 PM on January 23, 2008

I work with IDES people occasionally- they are generally very nice and helpful. They will steer you straight. If not, talk to the manager of the office. With rare exception, they are quite capable. And the wait time isn't generally too bad. It's not like it used to be, or other states.
posted by gjc at 4:44 PM on January 23, 2008

Best answer: illinois unemployment is pretty easy to navigate, and you can file online here. i've applied several times, collected benefits and never went to an unemployment office.

when he files, he should do so on his first day off of work. In two weeks, he'll certify--that is, call in, and report 1 week of unemployment, and 1 week of returning to his job. illinois won't pay for the first week.

he won't call in again until the next break. On the first day of unemployment for the second break, he needs to refile. In two weeks after filing, he'll certify one week of unemployment, and one week of employment. illinois will then send him a check for that second week.

repeat until funding comes trough for fermilab again.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 4:56 PM on January 23, 2008

Response by poster: @lester's: That's sort of what I thought. Mr. joleta thinks this isn't possible, so I wanted to find something official online to show him. I'll encourage him to file online the first day of his first furlough.
posted by Joleta at 6:35 PM on January 23, 2008

"@" is denigrated here at mefi, just don't, it's an insult, like staring at a woman's cleavage
posted by caddis at 7:06 PM on January 23, 2008

Response by poster: Jeez, sorry! I see it here all the time. What does it have to do with cleavage?
posted by Joleta at 8:01 PM on January 23, 2008

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