how does unemployment work in iowa

Who pays for unemployment insurance benefits in Iowa?

Benefits are paid from the Iowa State Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. The fund is supported solely by a special tax on employers. No deductions are taken from employees’ paychecks for unemployment insurance.

How can I reopen my unemployment claim?

Any break in reporting requires you to file another initial claim application(link is external) during the week you want to start collecting benefits again. Any employment during the break must be reported.

Can I still file a benefit claim if I’m working part-time?

If you earned less than your weekly benefit amount for any claimed week, you may be eligible for partial benefits. You must report your gross earnings (before deductions and taxes). Earnings include wages, tips, salary, commission, cash, bonuses, vacation pay, paid time off, pension or retirement pay, and workers’ compensation. The earnings must be reported for the week you perform the work, not when you are paid. If you earn $15 over your weekly benefit amount (WBA), you will not receive a payment.

Can individuals who are not U.S. citizens receive unemployment benefits?

Yes. To receive unemployment benefits, non-citizen applicants must establish that they were in satisfactory immigration status and authorized to work in the United States when earning the wages used to establish their claim. Non-citizen applicants will be required to provide specific information from their employment authorization documents issued to them by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In some cases, non-citizen applicants will be asked to provide legible copies of their employment authorization documents.

What happens after I submit my application for unemployment benefits?

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It takes several weeks to process your application and to start receiving unemployment benefits. File a weekly claim every week online(link is external) while your claim is processing or you have an appeal pending. Be sure to file your weekly claims on time. Make your required work search contacts every week and record your work search. It is recommended you use this work search log(link is external) to record your weekly work searches .

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Report all work and earnings when submitting your weekly claim. Report your gross earnings before any deductions and taxes for the week you perform the work. Do not wait until you are paid to report your earnings. Read all communication you receive from Iowa Workforce Development. Be sure to keep your address current because you’ll receive letters outlining what you need to do to maintain benefit eligibility.

Am I still eligible for benefits f I am not available to accept work because I’m taking care of a family member?

You must be available four or more days of the week to accept immediate employment. You are not considered able and available if circumstances, such as lack of transportation or childcare problems, would prevent you from working four or more days of the benefit week.

Can I file a claim if I live outside Iowa?

Yes. If you have earnings in the last 18 months have been in Iowa, you can file. If you have worked in two or more states, including Iowa, in the last 18 months, you can include those states on your application when you file. In addition, you must register for work with the nearest American Job Center. Find an American Job Center(link is external) near you.

Can I still file benefit claim if I don’t have a computer?

Yes. If you do not have access to a computer, you may use computers at any location or at your local library. In addition, if you have a smart phone, the ongoing claims filing tool is mobile friendly.

How do I file my weekly benefit claim?

To file a weekly claim, log in to your account(link is external). You must file a weekly claim for any week that you want payment, even if your eligibility is being decided or you have an appeal pending. Answer all required questions on the weekly continued claim. If you need assistance with your claim, call UI Customer Service at 1-866-239-0843 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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How long do I need to work in order to qualify for benefits?

To be eligible, you must have worked and earned a certain amount of wages in work covered by unemployment insurance in the last 15 to 18 months.

When should I file my benefit weekly claim?

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The current week is the week that just ended on Saturday. Weekly claims must be filed 8:00 a.m. Sunday through 5:30 p.m. Friday for the prior week only. This means individuals have six days to file the previous week’s claim. Weekly claims can be filed online using a mobile device or computer. Have this information available when filing your weekly claim: Social Security Number, PIN, total amount of gross wages (before deductions) earned during the week, and total amount of gross holiday pay, gross vacation and severance, if received. Delay in filing your weekly claim could result in denial of benefits.

When should I file an application for benefits?

File an initial claim the same week you are unemployed or working reduced hours. Do not wait until you have returned to work to file your claim. Your unemployment insurance claim DOES NOT begin on the date your job ended or your hours were reduced. Your claim is effective the Sunday of the week you apply.

Does an overpayment due to unemployment benefits mean I owe money?

Yes. If you receive any unemployment benefits for which you are not eligible, you will be required to repay those benefits. If benefits were paid to you in error, you will receive a notice stating the amount you were overpaid and why you were not eligible for the benefits.

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How long will my benefits last?

The benefit year is one year from the claim effective date. Benefits are paid until the Maximum Benefit Amount (MBA) is reached or the benefit year ends.

What information do I need when I apply?

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You will need your Social Security Number; complete home mailing address, including ZIP code; telephone number; email address; check stubs or W-2 forms; complete mailing addresses of employers, including ZIP code and the city in which the business is physically located; your start and end dates with each employer, including month, day, and year; your reason for leaving each employers (lack of work, voluntary quit, discharge, leave of absence, still employed); employment authorization number and expiration date (if a non-citizen).

If you served in the military the past 18 months, you will need your DD-214 Member Copy 4 Form. If you worked for the federal government as a civilian employee in the last 18 months, you will need Standard Form 8 or Standard Form 50. Also, compile your total wages earned with the federal employer in the last 18 months and indicate how you were paid (hourly, weekly, monthly).

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