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Study Highlights Possible Problem with Unemployment Benefits

SHARE Study Highlights Possible Problem with Unemployment Benefits

Illinois may not have enough money in its unemployment reserves for a lengthy recession. That’s according to a study by the National Employment Law Project advocacy group.

Economists recommend that states have enough saved to pay a year’s worth of unemployment claims. Yet the Law Project’s Andrew Stettner says Illinois only had about four months of reserves at the end of last year.

STETTNER: A state like Illinois that is nearly insolvent or inadequately funded category does have some time to get ahead of it and potentially make changes.

Stettner says he hopes the study encourages leaders to shore up reserves in good times, rather than cutting benefits and raising taxes when times are bad. If the state runs out of money, workers still get their benefits. But Illinois would have to borrow from the federal government, with interest.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security could not be reached for comment.

I’m Lynette Kalsnes, Chicago Public Radio.

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