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Non-Instructional Academic Employee Benefits

A recent change in Illinois law allows non-instructional, non-principally administrative, and non-research academic employees at a public or private school, college, or university (custodian, teacher’s aide, cafeteria worker, bus driver, security staff, clerical worker, etc.) to use their academic wages to establish unemployment benefits during the winter break, and summer months and holidays from January 3, 2021 through September 4, 2021.

Individuals in this population who were unemployed in this time period can file for benefits now with the Illinois Department of Employment Security by going online to File an Unemployment Claim or by calling the call center at (800) 244-5631.

If an individual in this population filed prior to the enactment of the change to Illinois law on June 25, 2021, and they have been denied benefits for unemployment in the time period, the Department will be reviewing each of these claims in light of the recent change to the law and will send the individual a subsequent notice.

Please note that this change in Illinois law does not apply to instructional, principally administrative, or research employees including but not limited to teachers, counselors, principals, vice principals, and deans (“professional academic employees”). Federal law does not allow professional academic employees unemployment benefits between terms or during vacation breaks or holidays when they have a contract or reasonable assurance of returning to their position when school resumes.