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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 12, 2012

IDES Offices Closed in Honor of Martin Luther King Jr.
Customers Should Certify; Services Available on Internet

CHICAGO - The offices of the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) will be closed on Monday, Jan. 16, in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Offices will re-open Tuesday. Office hours are 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Dr. King was born Jan. 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Ga. The civil rights leader was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn. on April 4, 1968. Four days later, legislation was introduced in Congress to make his birthday a national holiday, but was not enacted into law until 1983. Ten years earlier, in 1973, Illinois was among the first states in the Union to honor King with a state holiday.

Although IDES offices will be closed, services will remain available online at www.ides.illinois.gov. Individuals will be able to file for first-time unemployment benefits, certify for benefits which is necessary to receive payment, and switch that method of payment to direct deposit. Because Jan. 16 is a federal banking holiday, the availability of some benefit payments might be delayed. The IDES does not determine federal banking holidays.

IDES customers also can use the website to manage their benefit payments. For benefit payments, the Department encourages direct deposit. Direct deposit is a simple, smart and secure way to receive benefits. Debit cards also are available. There are no fees associated with a debit card at point-of-service counters that accept MasterCard, such as grocery stores, drug stores and convenience stores. Cash is available after qualifying purchases. Fees likely will be assessed with out-of-network ATM machines.

Career planning, training and job placement assistance also is available at the website. The services encourage individuals to assess their current skills and identify the training or education needed to augment those skills so they are prepared to re-enter the workforce and find meaningful work. The Department also administers tax credits and bonding programs that reward employers who hire specific workers, such as military Veterans and the formerly incarcerated. The Department hosts workshops to help employers better understand how insurance claims are evaluated, what is required to successfully challenge a claim, and other services to help businesses evaluate current and future growth potential.

IDES supports economic stability by administering unemployment benefits, collecting business contributions to fund those benefits, connecting employers with qualified job seekers, and providing economic information to assist career planning and economic development. It does so through nearly 60 offices across the state, including the Illinois workNet Centers. 



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