News and Announcements - Article

IDES Expands Services for Veterans

For Immediate Release | Greg Rivara, Media contact: (312) 793-9635 (PDF version)​​

Telephone Claims Open for Military Employees​

​CHICAGO – Recently discharged Veterans and federal employees now can apply for unemployment insurance benefits over the telephone in the latest improvement to modernize the unemployment insurance program, the Illinois Department of Employment Security said today.

Previously, military and federal employees were required to apply for unemployment insurance in person with paperwork to accommodate the way the federal government confirmed a person’s identity, wages and reason for separation. Recent technology enhancements eliminated the need for this paper driven process for military and federal employees. IDES still is exploring ways to allow military and federal employees to apply for benefits using the internet.

“I am grateful to be able to remove a barrier faced only by the men and women who protect our country and look forward to the day they also will be able to file on the internet,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “Our Veterans and their loved ones have sacrificed a great deal to serve our country. We must do all that is possible to help our Veterans find work as they transition into civilian life.”

Military and federal employees can apply for unemployment insurance at (800) 244-5631.

As the state’s employment agency, IDES knows military service carves a special bond among fellow Veterans. That is why IDES employees who are Veterans themselves are assigned to help their military brethren. The American Legion and Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve lead the organizations which have recognized IDES’ work to place Veterans in civilian employment. Programs specifically designed incentivize Veteran hiring include:

Tax Credits: A $5,000 state tax credit is available to employers who hire a qualified Veteran. Employers can search for Veterans on the state’s help wanted hiring job board operated by IDES. More than 150,000 help wanted ads and 60,000 resumes are available.

Priority of Service: Hiring events emphasize Veterans to potential employers and open early to Veterans and their spouses.

Illinois Hires Heroes Consortium: These Veteran-friendly employers recognize the value Veterans bring to the workplace. They work with IDES and the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs to implement Veteran recruitment training and retention practices. In return, the employer receives best practices advice, materials that advertise their Veteran-friendly status and Veteran employees who are selfless and committed to helping the company grown.