Skip to Content

What unemployment expansion means for you during COVID-19 pandemic

ROCKFORD (WREX) — In the past, independent contractors, freelancers, and gig workers wouldn't qualify for unemployment if they lost their jobs. That won't be the case, however, throughout this crisis.

"The package that will be approved by Congress in the House, sometime tomorrow I think, expands the definition of who's eligible for unemployment," said Illinois Senator Steve Stadelman.

Workers who may not have qualified for unemployment benefits in the past now can.

Stadelman says the state of Illinois is also working on expanding that definition, but it hasn't been able to meet in Springfield due to the coronavirus.

Gig workers include people like Uber drivers, Lyft drivers and others that do online work.

Stadelman says everyone who needs to collect unemployment during this crisis should try and apply now for the aid. The IDES website has been inundated with claims, but the state has worked to reduce online traffic as it handles an influx of filings.

Kristin Crowley

Evening News Anchor
Kristin Crowley anchors the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. news. She is also a reporter for 13 Investigates. She brings more than a decade of experience to the newsroom. Her work at WREX has earned her multiple awards including a regional Edward R. Murrow for Investigative Journalism and three regional Emmys.

Skip to content