SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Employment Security announced Thursday it has extended jobless benefits another 20 weeks as the state’s unemployment numbers continue to soar because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The agency said the extension was available beginning Thursday to people who have received 26 weeks of benefits, adding Illinois is among 19 states providing 20 weeks of extended benefits.
According to the state’s latest figures, 25,000 people filed for unemployment benefits for the first time in the week ending Aug. 1, down from the more than 33,000 who filed the week before. Last week, millions of Americans lost an additional $600 a week in federal unemployment benefits.
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have struggled to work out an agreement to restore federal jobless aid. Even a deal is reached, the amount is expected to be less than $600.