How To Apply For Unemployment In Iowa

The process to receive unemployment insurance benefits payments in the State of Iowa begins with filing a claim with Iowa Workforce Development. In order to qualify, you must be either totally or partially unemployed, have a documented work history for the past fifteen to eighteen months, and have lost your job involuntarily for non-punitive reasons. Use the following links to start the process and read below for more information:

Be prepared to provide proof of identity by having your social security number, driver’s license, military ID, US Passport, or Native American tribal record on hand when you apply.

Involuntary or Non-Punitive Separation from Employment

If you voluntarily quit your job, you may not be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. You may also not be able to collect if you were fired for punitive reasons, such as poor job performance or disciplinary actions. Unemployed workers under these conditions are entitled to an appeal from an IWD fact finder who will review your case.

Workers separated from employment due to involuntary or non-punitive reasons can proceed to file their claim online. You’ll need the following information to complete the process:

  • Social Security Number
  • Valid Address and Telephone Number
  • Valid Email Address
  • Check Stubs or W2 Forms
  • Contact Information of Former Employer
  • Reason for Separation

Additional information is available in the Iowa Workforce Development UI Claimant Handbook.

Calculating and Receiving your Unemployment Insurance Benefits Payments

Your unemployment insurance benefit payment is calculated with a formula that incorporates the highest earnings quarter in your base period (first four of last five quarters) and the number of dependents you have. You can receive benefits for up to one year from when the claim is filed or in a total amount up to the maximum benefit allowed.

After you’ve filed your initial claim, you’ll receive a confirmation letter with your weekly benefit payment amount and maximum benefits allowed. It will take several weeks after that for you to start receiving payments, so do not wait long after you’ve become unemployed. File your initial unemployment insurance claim immediately. You can receive payments by direct deposit or request a Bank of America debit card when you file your initial claim.

Weekly Claims and Work Search Requirements

After the initial claim has been filed, you will be required to file weekly claims to verify your unemployment status. Weekly claims must be filed between 8:00 AM on Sunday and 5:30 PM on Friday the week prior to the week you want to receive an unemployment insurance benefit payment. Once you’ve filed your initial claim, you need to file weekly claims every week thereafter, even on weeks when you’re still waiting for your first payment.

During your unemployment period, it is mandatory that you continue to search for new employment. Register with American Job Centers and upload or build your resume. When you file weekly claims, you’ll be asked to provide proof that you’ve been looking for work.

Iowa Unemployment Insurance Program

  •  Coronavirus update: Iowa is providing updates on Unemployment Insurance changes related to COVID-19 here: Visit Website
  •  To file a UI claim online: Visit Website
  •  General Information about the Unemployment Insurance Program: Visit Website

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