Illinois to enforce unemployment benefit registration requirement

By Greg Bishop 
Illinois News Network

Beginning July 17, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) will require all residents to register with the Illinois Employment Service before receiving any unemployment benefits.

The measure aims to increase the number of resources available for residents seeking employment and allows the department to better assess the employment needs of Illinois’ job seekers.

Jeff Mays, director of IDES, said the requirement isn’t new but the department is now enforcing it.“You won’t get a check (if you don’t comply), and when you do file a resume you will get a check.”

Mays said the goal is to match job seekers with job openings. “States that have implemented these types of programs have actually walked people to employment quicker and that is what we want to try to do.

“We’ve been planning for this for eight months, and we’ve been moving around our technology system to be able to handle the resume process and to start making the links between the folk that are registering for work with the employers that need workers,” Mays added.

Available resources for Illinois job seekers include free job-search and postings, recruiting, job matches, hiring fairs, workshops, seminars and webinars. Individuals in search of employment will also have the advantage of having staff assist them in finding employment sooner.

Registering for the service involves uploading or creating a resume on the Illinois Job Link site.

Not everyone will be required to register for the service, however. Individuals currently receiving benefits are exempt from the requirement.

Sixty percent of unemployment insurance claims currently filed with the department are not accompanied by a completed registration for employment services.

Individuals who register for employment services have access to more than 179,000 job postings on the state’s Job Link site.

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