CHICAGO (CBS)– Gig workers in Illinois will be eligible to apply for unemployment benefits starting Monday.
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On Monday, Illinois will roll out its new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program.
The new system will allow gig workers, independent contractors and people who are self-employed to finally receive unemployment benefits.
Even though federal dollars have actually been available to them since March, gig workers were told not to bother applying until the state figured out how to fix its computers to accept their claims.
Now, Illinois is telling these workers to apply for regular unemployment benefits, let the system deny them and then re-apply under this new assistance program.
“Even something as small as $400 dropped onto your life it can save you,” Gig worker activist Mathew Telles said.
As for when gig workers can expect to actually start receiving benefits, the Illinois Department of Employment Security and Gov. JB Pritzker have not made that clear.