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For Immediate Release: November 17, 2009
Contact: Kerry Koonce
Telephone: (515) 281-9646

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IWD Announces Additional Emergency Unemployment Insurance Benefits

Des Moines – Director Elisabeth Buck announced today that approximately 20,000 notices will be mailed from Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) to Iowans who may be eligible for the additional emergency unemployment insurance benefits of up to 14 weeks, if their previous benefits are currently exhausted. Individuals who are still receiving their unemployment benefits will continue with their weekly reporting to receive the extension. Individuals need to follow the directions on their letters, and only need to file a new claim at a Workforce Center online at www.iowaworkforce.org if directed to do so in the letter.

“As Iowans continue to struggle with the affects of the national recession, these additional benefits provide an economic safety net for Iowans in need,” stated Iowa Workforce Development Director, Elisabeth Buck.

The Worker Assistance Act of 2009 provides the framework for the additional level of emergency unemployment benefits. The current Tier 2 program in Iowa has received one additional week of benefits. Iowa is also eligible for Tier 3, which provides up to an additional 13 weeks of benefits. The program is designed to lessen the effects of unemployment during difficult economic times. In all, Iowans are eligible for up to 47 weeks of additional benefits once their initial weeks are exhausted. Emergency benefits are paid by the federal government and do not effect Iowa’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund solvency.

At this time, the federal Emergency Unemployment Benefits program is set to expire on December 31st. In order to receive additional benefits, an individual must have exhausted the prior tier of benefits prior to December 31st unless the entire program is extended by Congress.

Iowa Workforce Development has developed a comprehensive program to assist unemployed workers. The program includes a wide variety of assistance designed to get Iowans back to work. This comprehensive services package includes retraining assistance, help with identifying new employment opportunities, resume writing and interview skills, job placement assistance, and connections to additional services such as health insurance for children and other human services needs.

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