President's Corner


October 2021 Recapping Pension Improvement Details

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Updated Unemployment Information in Response to COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Illinois and Indiana have eliminated the one-week waiting period that was previously required before workers could apply for unemployment benefits. Additional provisions have been changed in an effort to make it easier for workers to qualify for and receive benefits. Please see state-specific information below:


Click here to visit the Illinois Unemployment FAQ page

  • Employees who are temporarily laid off because their place of work is temporarily closed because of the COVID-19 virus are eligible for unemployment benefits. These employees will be considered to be “actively seeking work” as long as the individual is prepared to return to his or her job as soon the employer reopens.
  • Employees who quit their jobs because they are generally concerned about the COVID-19 virus will not be eligible for unemployment benefits. However, if there is a good reason for the employee quitting that is attributable to the employer, and the employee made a reasonable effort to resolve that issue with the employer prior to quitting, the employee may be eligible for benefits. 
  • An employee who is out of work because 1) they are confined to their home after being diagnosed with COVID-19, 2) forced to care for a dependent diagnosed with COVID-19 or a school or daycare is closed because of COVID-19, or 3) because of a government-imposed or government-recommended quarantine, could be eligible for unemployment benefits if the individual is able and available for work from home, is registered with the state employment service, is actively seeking work that can be performed from the confines of his or her home, and there is a labor market for the work that the employee is able to perform from home.


Click here to visit the Indiana Unemployment FAQ page.

Unemployment Provisions of EXECUTIVE ORDER 20-05

  1. The DWD shall interpret, consistent with federal law, Indiana’s unemployment laws to provide benefits to claimants displaced by COVID-19.
  2. The DWD shall not assess certain experience rate penalties to employers as a result of employees receiving unemployment benefits related to COVID-19.
  3. If the DWD finds that if a claimant’s untimely filing was due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, the DWD shall not deny the claimant’s benefits for that reason.
  4. The DWD shall permit individuals to continue to accrue unemployment eligibility if they elect to take leave due to COVID-19.
  5. The DWD shall seek federal authorization to provide unemployment benefits to those individuals who may not otherwise be eligible for unemployment benefits because they were short-term employees who now find themselves out of work due to COVID-19.

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