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Illinois extends unemployment benefits another 20 weeks

Illinois extends unemployment benefits another 20 weeks

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Department of Employment Security has extended jobless benefits another 20 weeks as the state’s unemployment numbers continue to soar because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Employment Security Department announced the extension was available starting Thursday to people who have received 26 weeks of benefits.

According to the agency, Illinois is among 19 states providing 20 weeks of extended benefits.

The state’s latest figures show 25,000 people filed for unemployment benefits for the first time in the week ending Aug. 1. That is down from the more than 33,000 who filed the week before.