Filing unemployment claims during a furlough


Filing for unemployment in Missouri and Illinois can be done online in fairly straightforward process. A member to who filed in Illinois said it was pretty easy. The Missouri on-line application also does a nice job of guiding you through the process.

Here are some basics:

  • It’s best to file on-line. Be prepared to offer full pay information (w2 and pay stubs) for the previous 18 months.
  • You can’t file your claim until the first day of the furlough.
  • The claim week begins on Sunday and ends on Saturday.
  • Both states have waived the usual one-week waiting period.
  • During a furlough you are not required to seek work.
  • If you have self-employment income or part-time job during the furlough week, you must report that income.
  • Everybody eligible for regular unemployment may get the additional $600 in federal money – as long as the state agrees that the furlough is pandemic related.
  • Gannett and Lee Enterprises will not contest unemployment claims, but those companies can’t guarantee that everybody will receive the enhanced benefit.
  • Payments will be made retroactively for claims filed on or after March 29, 2020.
  • Payment is not immediate since the unemployment offices in both states are under duress.
  • It’s possible in both Missouri and Illinois to get some unemployment benefit taking your furlough in partial weeks, but it is much, much easier to collect by taking furloughs at least one week at a time.

Both states have a lot of useful information readily available on line: