back to Employment Law Blog

Navigating the Nuances of IDES Telephone Hearings and Appeals: Missed Hearings and Continuance Requests

June 26, 2024

In the intricate world of unemployment insurance hearings, particularly those conducted by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), understanding the procedural nuances can significantly impact the outcome of your case. This post delves into what you should do if you miss your scheduled telephone hearing, how to request a continuance before the hearing, and the steps to ask for a reopening after the hearing has concluded.

What to Do If You Miss Your Scheduled Telephone Hearing

Missing a scheduled IDES telephone hearing can be stressful. However, Illinois Benefits Rules provide a structured approach to manage such situations. If you miss your hearing, the missed appointment is treated as a request for reopening under Section 2720.255, provided that your request for a continuance was due to exceptional reasons as defined by the Benefits Rules.

Requesting a Continuance Before the Hearing

Under Section 2720.240 of the Illinois Benefits Rules, a continuance can be granted for “exceptional reasons.” These reasons include medical emergencies, unforeseen circumstances like natural disasters, conflicts due to legal or regulatory obligations, or the necessity to obtain legal representation. Requests for continuances must be proactive; ideally, they should be made as soon as the conflict is known but no later than before the conclusion of the hearing. This can be done in person, by telephone, or in writing via mail, fax, or email.

If granted, the hearing will be rescheduled to the earliest available date, typically no more than seven days after the initially scheduled hearing. The IDES will notify the parties of the new date, time, and place either orally or in writing.

Requesting a Reopening After the Hearing

If you missed the hearing and did not manage to request a continuance beforehand, you could request a reopening. This request is treated similarly to a continuance request but occurs post-hearing. You must demonstrate that your failure to attend was due to circumstances beyond your control or that you did not receive timely notice of the hearing.

The Nuance of Submitting Additional Evidence

Often, the need to submit new evidence arises after the initial hearing. The IDES rules stipulate that additional evidence can only be considered if formally requested and approved. If you need to submit additional evidence, you must file a written request with the Board of Review (BOR) within specific time frames, depending on whether a transcript was requested and who appealed the decision.

Your request must include a summary of the evidence and an explanation of why it was not initially presented, through no fault of your own. Importantly, you must also certify that you have served a copy of this request to the opposing party, detailing how it was served.

Responding to an Opponent’s Request for Submitting Additional Evidence

If your opponent requests to submit additional evidence, you have the right to respond. You must file your written response with the BOR within seven calendar days after the request was mailed or served to you. This response must also include a signed statement certifying that you served a copy of your response to the opponent.


Understanding and navigating the procedural aspects of IDES hearings can be daunting. However, by adhering to the stipulated guidelines and acting promptly, you can manage your case more effectively. Always ensure that your actions are well-documented and that you maintain open lines of communication with the IDES and any opposing parties. This proactive approach not only helps in managing the immediate concerns related to missed hearings or the need for continuances but also ensures that you are prepared to introduce or respond to new evidence if necessary.

© 2023 Pietrucha Law Firm, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

(630) 344-6370  

1717 N Naper Blvd Suite 200, Naperville, IL 60563