IDES has issued new instructions for 1099 workers who have lost work due to COVID-19. A 1099 employee is one that doesn’t fall under normal employment classification rules, such as independent contractors and self-employed individuals. These are worker who do not have an employer-employee relationship that triggers the assessment and collection of standard unemployment insurance contributions.
The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program provides 100% federally-funded unemployment benefits for individuals who are unemployed for specified COVID-19-related reasons and are not eligible for the state’s regular unemployment insurance program, the extended benefit (EB) program under Illinois law, or the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program (PEUC), including independent contractors and sole-proprietors. Up to 39 weeks’ worth of benefits are potentially available under the program for COVID-19-related unemployment claims. PUA claims will be backdated to the individuals’ first week of unemployment, but no earlier than February 2, 2020, and will continue for as long as the individual remains unemployed as a result of COVID-19, but no later than the week ending December 26, 2020. The program is similar to the federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance program which provides unemployment benefits in response to local disasters. IDES is contracting with Deloitte to implement and maintain the web-based PUA program, and the new PUA application portal opens TODAY via the IDES website.
Workers who believe they may be eligible for new federal benefits under PUA, must first apply for regular unemployment insurance, receiving a denial for regular unemployment benefits is a mandatory first step in determining eligibility for PUA. Filing for regular unemployment also provides claimants the opportunity to select how they want to receive benefits. Eligible claimants can choose between direct deposit or a debit card onto which their benefits will be loaded. Debit cards can take up to one to two weeks to receive in the mail while direct deposit payments take two to three days once a claimant completes their weekly certification for benefits.
Those with questions or in need of assistance with unemployment benefits are encouraged to visit IDES.Illinois.gov.