Latest Updates For REALTORS® Filing For Unemployment in Illinois

(DISCLAIMER: This information is constantly changing. Illinois REALTORS® legal team will provide updates on how this affects employees of a brokerage; broker-owners; sponsoring brokers, etc.)

On Mar. 30, 2020, Illinois REALTORS® provided the best information it had at the time concerning the filing of unemployment applications through the Illinois Dept. of Employment Security (IDES) as it related to the federal stimulus packages. Guidance changes were released Tues., Mar. 31, 2020 (pdf). Information posted by IDES on Tues., Mar. 31, 2020, changes prior guidance. 


UPDATED: Mar., 31, 2020 

Self-employed and Independent Contractors 

If you are self-employed or an independent contractor, go to the last paragraph. You are being instructed to wait on filing an application until further notice. Illinois REALTORS® will monitor this news and update as soon as there is something new. 

Regular employees 

If you are a regular employee, you may file now according to the IDES posted guidance as to days of the week associated with your last name.  


Follow guidance provided by IDES. 

What if I have already filed an application?

Our best guess at this time is that you may be denied, but should be contacted by IDES at which time you might refile; or file an appeal.  We, are however, awaiting further guidance from IDES and will monitor their information sources for any new, better or different guidance.  


March 30, 2020 posting: 

In order to qualify for the unemployment benefits in the relief bill, REALTORS® must apply for benefits in Illinois through the Illinois Department of Employment Security (“IDES”). However, based on the most recent guidance provided as of Mar. 31, 2020, those who are self-employed and independent contractors should not apply until further notice. 

As of March 26, 2020, all IDES offices are closed to the public and an in-person application is not available. Applications can be processed online and by telephone. At this date, the IDES website has not been updated to reflect that independent contractors may be eligible for unemployment relief in Illinois. 

As a REALTOR®, you should be able to keep listing property and, if commission is earned upon closing, that income will likely need to be reported and may impact a portion of any unemployment payments you might be entitled to for a period of time, but it may not disqualify you from all unemployment relief. For specific questions how continued real estate work and commissions may impact eligibility, you should contact your attorney for specific legal advice. 

The following information will help you contact IDES. 


To view more updates of Illinois REALTORS®, visit: