Skip to main content

Filing a Claim

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) provided below highlight topics and specific questions that are often asked of the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL). The information provided in the FAQs is intended to enhance public access and understanding of IDOL laws, regulations and compliance information. 

The FAQs should not be considered a substitute for the appropriate official documents (i.e. statute and/or administrative rules.) Individuals are urged to consult legal counsel of their choice. Court decisions may affect the interpretation and constitutionality of statutes. The Department cannot offer individuals legal advice or offer advisory opinions. If you need a legal opinion, we suggest you consult your own legal counsel. These FAQs are not to be considered complete and do not relieve employers from complying with applicable IDOL laws and regulations.

1. What can I do if I believe I am owed wages, vacation, bonus, commissions or final compensation?

You may file a claim with the wage claims division of the Illinois Department of Labor.

2. How long do I have to file a claim?

Complaints shall be filed within one year after the wages or final compensation were due. The Department will limit its investigation to reviewing the 3 years prior to the date the complaint was filed. 56 Ill. Adm. Code. Section 300.940

3. What documents should I include with my claim?

For all claims: copies of paychecks, paystubs, W2's 1099's or any other documentation that has the name of the employer and your rate of pay.


  • For Vacation claims: Attach a copy of vacation policy or an explanation of the policy.
  • For Bonus claim: Attach a copy of the bonus agreement or an explanation of the policy.
  • For Commission claims: Attach a copy of the commission agreement or an explanation of the policy.
  • For Illegal Deductions: Attach a copy of documentation​ that shows the deduction (example paystubs or a letter authorizing the deduction.)

4. What happens after I file a wage claim with IDOL?

  1. The Department will review your claim for completeness, timeliness, and, to make sure the Department has jurisdiction.
  2. If the Department accepts your claim, your employer will be notified of your claim and the dollar amount you are claiming.
  3. If the employer disputes the claim, the employer has a right to answer your claim.
  4. The Department will conduct an investigation and determine whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to a hearing. If necessary, you may be required to provide additional information.
  5. If a hearing is scheduled you will be notified in writing at the address you provided and will be mailed no later than 21 days prior to the date of the hearing. In addition, the date of your hearing and judge to whom the claim is assigned will be posted on the department's web site. If your claim is not posted, it has not been scheduled yet.

You must respond to all Department inquiries and attend your hearing in order for the Department to resolve your claim. 56 Ill. Adm. Code 300.940-300.1020.​​​​​