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July 8, 2020

Illinois COVID-19 UI benefits will not be charged to employer accounts

Recently enacted HB 2455 provides that Illinois employer accounts will not be charged with unemployment insurance (UI) benefits paid to workers that are directly or indirectly attributable to COVID-19. The noncharge provision applies 100% to contributory employers and 50% to reimbursing employers and is effective retroactively to March 15, 2020, through December 31, 2020.

The employer must be able to show that the workers' UI benefits are directly or indirectly attributable to COVID-19.

New law allows certain educational employees to collect UI benefits this year

The legislation also allows non-professional academic employees (i.e., custodians, teacher's aides, cafeteria worker, bus driver, security staff, clerical worker, etc.) at a public or private school, college, or university to collect UI benefits during the summer months, vacation breaks and holidays during 2020 from March 15, 2020 to January 2, 2021. Educational employers will be noncharged in the same way as for contributory or reimbursing employers as explained above. For more information, see the Illinois Department of Employment Security's website.

Work search requirements and one-week waiting period are waived for workers filing COVID-19 UI benefit claims

The legislation waives the one-week waiting period for worker UI benefits related to COVID-19, effective retroactively to March 8, 2020.

Under emergency rules adopted by the Illinois Department of Employment Security, an individual unemployed due to COVID-19 is not required to register with the employment service to actively seek work as long as the individual is prepared to return to work once the employer reopens. See these FAQs for more information.

Employers should report workers who refuse to return to work by filing this form over the Department's electronic system.

Ernst & Young LLP insights

Due to the lateness of the legislation providing for the noncharge of COVID-19 UI benefits, employers should review benefit charge statements to be sure the Department removes these charges from their experience account.


Contact Information
For additional information concerning this Alert, please contact:
Workforce Tax Services - Employment Tax Advisory Services
   • Kenneth Hausser (
   • Debera Salam (
   • Kristie Lowery (
   • Peter Berard (


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