Illinois to Receive More Than $200 Million in Recovery Act Funds for Unemployment Insurance Modernization

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced Illinois will receive $200,767,125 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for unemployment insurance modernization. The funds will allow the Illinois Department of Employment Security to pay unemployment benefits and to deliver employment services. Today’s funding is in addition to the $100,383,562 in Recovery Act funding that Illinois received in April.


“Unemployment benefits are urgently needed across our state,” Durbin said. “Putting money in the hands of unemployed families means they will be able to pay their rent and utility bills, buy groceries and clothe their children. Extending unemployment benefits is the not only right thing to do to aid struggling families, but it will also breathe some life into our struggling economy.”


One of six states certified by the U.S. Department of Labor to share in the $7 billion made available for UI modernization by this year’s Recovery Act, Illinois qualified for incentive funds because it allows workers to use their more recent earnings to qualify for benefits.


“I am pleased that Illinois has made updates to its UI program to better meet the needs of today’s workers and their families,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “This additional funding was made available in light of the state’s implementation of legislation allowing workers who leave jobs for compelling family reasons to receive UI benefits. The law also increases the benefits for unemployed workers with families.”