GURNEE, Ill. – State Rep. Joyce Mason, D-Gurnee, is directing workers who were laid off or saw their hours reduced due to COVID-19 closures to apply for unemployment benefits through the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) and offering assistance from her office to anyone encountering difficulties with the system.

“As businesses continue to be financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, the state is taking additional steps to assist workers who are losing jobs or wages during this difficult time,” said Mason. “I understand the fear many families have about paying their bills right now, and I want to make sure they know of resources that are available.”

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, IDES recently modified eligibility requirements to allow employees who are out of work due to temporary business closures or without sick leave to collect unemployment benefits. To maintain social distancing, residents should apply online at or by calling the IDES customer service line at 1-800-244-5631. The website is seeing heavy traffic, so applicants with last names A-M are being instructed to file their claims on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and applicants with last names N-Z are being asked to do so on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

“If you were recently laid off because your employer closed down, even if it’s not a permanent job loss, you likely qualify for state unemployment benefits to help you manage financially,” said Mason. “I would urge anyone in this situation to apply as soon as possible and to reach out to my office if you need help navigating the process.”

For additional information or assistance with filing an unemployment insurance claim, please contact Mason’s constituent service office at 847-485-9986 or email

Rep. Joyce MasonRep. Joyce Mason

61st District

Visit Rep. Joyce Mason’s website

Springfield Office:
247-E Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8151
District Office:
36100 Brookside Dr.
Suites LL 60
Gurnee, IL 60031
(847) 485-9986