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July 1, 2010

Offices Closed July 5 to Observe Independence Day
Customers Should Certify; Services Available on Internet

CHICAGO - The offices of the Illinois Department of Employment Security will be closed on Monday, July 5, in observance of Independence Day which is Sunday July 4. All services will be available on the Web site. Claimants scheduled to certify for benefits on Monday, July 5 should do so.

Independence Day is celebrated as the Fourth of July. It honors the Declaration of Independence which summarily declared sovereignty from Great Britain. Thomas Jefferson drafted the document between June 11 and June 28, 1776. The expressed political philosophy of individual liberty was not new and had been advocated by many. This time, however, Jefferson presented the tenets as self-evident truths. The document presents a list of reasons, or grievances, against Great Britain’s King to explain why such a rebellious act was warranted.

Illinois has added 70,000 jobs so far this year and more than any state in the Midwest. In May, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped -0.4 points to 10.8 percent. The over-the-month decline is the largest since October 1983. The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and looking for work regardless if they are eligible for unemployment insurance. A person not collecting unemployment benefits still will be reflected in the unemployment rate if they continue to look for work.

Although IDES offices will be closed, services are available at the Web site. People still will be able to file for first-time unemployment benefits, certify for benefits which is necessary to receive payment, and switch that method of payment to direct deposit. The Website is www.ides.state.il.us The IDES will process customer certifications on Monday. Because Monday is a federal banking holiday, the availability of some benefit payments might be delayed. The IDES does not determine federal banking holidays.

IDES officials encourage claimants who will not qualify for further payments without an extension of the cutoff dates to continue to certify for benefits at www.ides.state.il.us or by calling TeleServe. In general terms, this group includes everyone except those who have collected benefits for 99 weeks, the maximum amount available in Illinois. Continuing to certify will allow the Department to quickly process future payments should Congress act. Regular unemployment insurance benefits last 26 weeks. Congress, with presidents Bush and Obama, authorized additional weeks through multiple tiers. These tiers began to close the week ending May 29, prohibiting individuals from graduating to the next tier. Congress has considered, but not approved, legislation that would allow claimants to graduate to the next tier, not to exceed the existing 99-week maximum. Individuals who have collected benefits for 99 weeks should not certify because no additional program tier exists.


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