Message from the Director of IDES
Welcome to the third edition of our e-mail effort to let you know how the Illinois Department of Employment Security can help you succeed, provide for your family and grow our economy.
Today's installment has great information to help you return to work or grow your business. First, though, an update on how the federal "fiscal cliff" touches IDES and you.
The IDES is federally funded and funding is partly tied to the number of people collecting unemployment. That number will fall because federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program ends on Dec. 29, and that represents a $16 million budget cut. When combined with potential $17 million cut from the fiscal cliff and other reductions, IDES' budget could be cut $44 million annually, or about 20 percent. These cuts come at a time when the numbers of claims remain 38 percent higher than prior to the recession.
To live within its budget, IDES already has non-scheduled 216 intermittent employees, consolidated eight offices and vacated 10 outpost locations shared with partners. The federal cuts will necessitate further service reductions.
Depending on what Congress does in the next weeks and months will dictate the hard steps we will have to take. I'll keep you posted.
Jay Rowell, Director
Illinois Department of Employment Security
Update: Pensions and the IDES
If our state pension crisis is not resolved, deeper cuts at the Illinois Department of Employment Security will be needed.
IDES is federally funded. Fewer people collecting unemployment insurance combined with higher health insurance costs has cut this year's budget by $19 million. If the "fiscal cliff" is not averted and other federal laws expire at the end of 2012, IDES will face an additional $33 million cut. Together, that means a 20 percent reduction. As a result, significant service cuts will be needed to balance the IDES budget.
Additionally, IDES will continue to see its pension costs climb due to the historic underfunding of the pension system. Illinois' pension systems are $90 billion in debt. IDES will be required to put more and more of its limited federal funding toward pension payments if this critical issue is not fixed.
How might it touch you?
Fewer people to help with an unemployment claim. Fewer people to help contest a fraudulent claim. Fewer people to help a worker learn new skills and find a job. Fewer people to evaluate economic data and identify trends that can help a business grow.
Governor of Illinois
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Federal Emergency Unemployment Ends in December
EUC Ends Dec. 29, Regular Unemployment Continues
An estimated 90,000 people who worked in Illinois will no longer receive unemployment insurance when the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program ends Dec. 29.
The state's Regular Unemployment Insurance program continues.
The state's regular program represents the first 25 weeks an individual receives unemployment insurance. The federal EUC program represents weeks 26-78.
When federal lawmakers passed the last extension of the program, they included a Dec. 29 hard-stop ending date. Under current law, no EUC can be paid for weeks ending after Dec. 29.
The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and seeking employment. A person who exhausts benefits, or is ineligible, still will be reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work.
Every $1 in unemployment insurance generates $1.63 in economic activity because the dollars are quickly spent at neighborhood businesses.
Illinois businesses pay into the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund to provide for the state's regular unemployment program, which lasts 25 weeks for individuals who first claimed the benefit in 2012.
After regular unemployment, individuals graduated to the federal EUC, which was divided into Tiers I, II, III and IV. Collectively, they provided up to 53 weeks of unemployment insurance. Congress enacted the EUC tiers at various times under Presidents Bush and Obama. The federally funded Extended Benefits (EB) program provided the final 20 weeks of support. EB expired earlier this year after specific thresholds were met, including a falling unemployment rate. The EB thresholds and the EUC ending date were written into federal law.
Take Control of Tax Season - Order Your 1099G online
Take control of the tax season timeline and order your 1099G form online.
If you collected unemployment insurance benefits in 2012, you will need the 1099G to complete your tax return. Accessing the form electronically speeds tax preparation, reduces cost for the IDES and provides better customer service.
Requests to be notified when the 1099G form is available electronically can be made at the IDES website. Once there, view Tax Information/1099G Form on the left side of the landing page next to the Payments section. Individuals who have not established a username and password to manage their account will first be prompted to do so.
Accessing the form electronically speeds tax preparation because individuals can obtain the form at their convenience and not wait for it to be mailed. Should the form be misplaced, individuals can access the document again without contacting the IDES.
The 1099G is needed to complete state and federal tax returns. The form is available for the last seven years.
The Chicagoland Veterans Exchange - Another Place To Help Veterans
The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) is a leader in helping Veterans return to work.
The IDES accomplishes this critical mission in two ways: Programs offered directly through the IDES and programs offered by partner agencies in the public and not-for-profit sectors.
The Chicagoland Veterans Exchange, which is part of the Chicagoland Community Advisory Board, is another avenue to help Veterans connect with employers who are in need of a Veteran's unique knowledge and experience.
The CVE offers many of the same outreach efforts as IDES: Connecting Veterans with ready-to-hire employers; resume-writing and interview skills; and counselors who can help translate military occupational codes and other jargon into today's civilian employment world.
The Chicagoland Veterans Exchange concentrates services in Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kankakee and Will counties. It is not part of the military or state government. Funds are used exclusively to support the work of the CVE in finding jobs for Veterans.
Work Smarter, Save Money, Use SIDES
What would government be without acronyms?
But if you're a business, you want to know this one: SIDES
State Information Data Exchange will save you time and money.
This electronic system will simplify and streamline how your business communicates with the IDES. It will increase accuracy and condense response times. This saves you time and money.
The SIDES system also will allow the IDES to reduce unemployment insurance payments to ineligible claimants and promote more timely and accurate benefit determinations. That saves you money, too.
SIDES was developed through a partnership between the U.S. Department of Labor and unemployment insurance agencies across the country. Look for more information about SIDES in 2013.
Starting a Small Business? Don't Forget These Critical Tools
For many people, being their own boss is a life-long dream. Starting your own business can be incredibly rewarding. Consider these resources as you build your plan:
Illinois Small Business Development Center is part of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. With locations across the state, it provides information, confidential business guidance, training and other resources to early stage and existing small businesses.
The U.S. Small Business Administration has been helping small entrepreneurs since July 30, 1953. It has delivered millions of loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses. Visit their websites to find out more about assistance to small business operators.
Equity Partner Match
is the place where businesses and people connect as new equity partners. Unleash your potential by joining a company for an equity stake. Or, find the perfect addition to your team with the specific skills your company needs. Find the best company in the world to work for - and become an owner - at equitypartnermatch.com
Small Biz Cyber Planner helps guard against cyber threats. Information technology and high-speed Internet are great tools for small business success, but they also offer a security threat. As larger companies take steps to secure their systems, less secure small businesses are easier targets for cyber criminals. In October 2012, the FCC re-launched Small Biz Cyber Planner 2.0, an online resource to help small businesses create customized cyber security plans.
Remember that there are specific rules about starting a business and collecting unemployment insurance benefits. In order to be eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits, a person must certify that he is able to work, available for work and actively seeking work. A person must be able to produce a work-search log when requested by the IDES to show that he or she has been looking for work. Any effort put into establishing your own business or soliciting business for your company does not qualify as meeting the work search requirement.