www.iowaworkforce.org  


Unemployment Insurance (UI) Services Division

The Purpose of This Handbook

What Is Unemployment Insurance

Eligibility Requirements

How to Apply for Benefits

How Much You Can Receive and How It Is Determined

What Are the Wage Requirements

When Will You Get Paid

How a Part-Time Job Affects Your Benefits

Self-Employment

What Can Be Deducted From Your Benefits Other Than Wages

What Are the Work Search Requirements

Eligibility Review

What Wage You Must Accept

What Does Able and Available for Work Mean

You Can Go to School and Still Be Eligible

How to Claim Benefits Each Week

How to Determine the Status of Your Claim and When You Will Be Paid

How to Get Paid (Pre-Paid Debit Card or Direct Deposit)

How to Reactivate Your Claim

What Happens When Your Claim Is Protested

If You Are Denied Benefits, Can You Appeal

What If You Are Overpaid

Are Benefits Taxable

Using Wages Earned in Another State, the Military or the Federal Government

If You Move Out of Iowa, May You Claim Benefits Using Your Iowa Wages

The Quality Control Program

Release of Information

Are There Any Other Benefit Programs

When Benefits Are Exhausted

Fraud

Equal Opportunity Is the Law

Reemployment Services — Profiling

Work Record(PDF)

Record of Work Search(PDF)

Tax Withholding Agreement Form 60-0360(PDF)

Direct Deposit Agreement Form 60-0351(PDF)

IowaWORKS Center Directory

Reporting

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Facts About Unemployment Insurance Guide
2012 - 2013

The Purpose of This Handbook

This handbook will answer most questions about your claim for unemployment insurance and help you avoid problems, delays, or improper payments. It explains your rights and responsibilities while claiming unemployment insurance benefits.

It is your responsibility to read and know the contents of this handbook. This handbook contains general information only and does not have the force and effect of law, rule or regulation. Any questions concerning registration for work should be directed to the nearest IowaWORKS Center. Out of state claimants should register for work through the public employment office in their state of residence.

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What Is Unemployment Insurance?

Warning: Do not provide your Social Security Number or other personal information over the telephone unless you can verify they are an Iowa Workforce Development employee.

Unemployment insurance is like home or car insurance except you do not pay any part of the cost. Unemployment insurance is paid entirely by employers who are covered by the Iowa Employment Security Law. Unemployment insurance is not welfare and is not based on need. It provides temporary benefits for people who are:

  • Unemployed or working reduced hours through no fault of their own.
  • Able to work and available for work.
  • Actively looking for work (unless waived).

The intent is to pay benefits to eligible claimants during periods of unemployment when suitable work is not available. You must meet certain eligibility requirements set by law. This handbook briefly explains these conditions.

If you do not expect to be recalled to your job, it is your responsibility to register for work at an IowaWORKS Center. Failure to register for work can result in a disqualification for benefits. If you have access to the Internet, you may register for work on-line at http://www.iowaworkforce.org.

If you do not have access to the Internet, you will need to go into your nearest IowaWORKS Center to register for work in person (unless waived—see exceptions under What Are the Work Search Requirements?).

IowaWORKS Center can provide information about job openings, testing, counseling, job training programs and job-seeking skills.

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Eligibility Requirements

To Be Eligible for Benefits You Must:

  1. Be totally or partially unemployed.
  2. Have worked and earned a certain amount of wages in work covered by unemployment insurance in the last 15 to 18 months.
  3. Have lost your job through no fault of your own.
  4. Be able to work and available for work
  5. Be actively seeking work by in-person contact with employers, unless approved to send résumés by Iowa Workforce Development. Work search may be waived if you meet certain criteria (see exceptions under What Are the Work Search Requirements?).
  6. Be registered for work unless waived (see exceptions under What Are the Work Search Requirements?).
  7. Keep a record of your contacts on the Work Search form and provide a copy of your work search contacts on the Work Search History form upon request.
  8. Report any job offers or referrals that you have refused when you call in your weekly-continued claim.
  9. Report if you quit or are fired from any job while claiming benefits.
  10. Notify Iowa Workforce Development if for any reason you move or leave the area for more than three working days.
  11. Report all earnings before deductions when earned, not when paid. Report any vacation severance or holiday pay. Contact Iowa Workforce Development if you are receiving Workers' Compensation or any other type of pay that may be deductible.
  12. Notify Iowa Workforce Development if you are currently enrolled or start school
  13. Notify Iowa Workforce Development if you are receiving a private pension or workers’ compensation.
  14. Understand that if it becomes necessary for Iowa Workforce Development to conduct a fact-finding interview to determine your eligibility for benefits, you will be mailed a notice with the date and time of the fact-finding interview.
  15. Understand that if a decision on any issue of your eligibility for unemployment insurance is appealed, your claim becomes public record.
  16. Understand that UI benefits are fully taxable income for federal and state income taxes. Requirements do exist pertaining to estimated tax payments. (Ask your tax preparer, the IRS, or state revenue department if you have questions.
  17. Understand that you may choose to have income taxes withheld from your benefit payment and that you may change the withholding choice.
  18. Understand that attempting to claim and receive benefits fraudulently can result in loss of benefits, repayment of benefits, fines or imprisonment.

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How to Apply for Benefits

There are several ways you can apply for benefits.

  • If you have access to the Internet, you can use our on-line system to apply for benefits at http://www.iowaworkforce.org/ui/file1.htm.   (The system is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week).
  • You may also visit your nearest IowaWORKS Center and use a computer there to apply for benefits.
  • If your employer is participating in employer-filed claims, your employer may file your application on your behalf.

Note: The online claim application currently cannot be accessed using WebTV, PDAs, handheld computers, smart phone, and similar systems.

Access Points
Located at each Access Point there is a Virtual Desktop with a Virtual Desktop Guide.  Together they contain resources and tools to help you through your unemployment and to help you find your new job.

Exploring the services provided to you on the Virtual Desktop and in the accompanying guide, will help you understand and follow the requirements needed for your unemployment insurance claim.  You may also chat with a workforce advisor if you have any questions, search for jobs effectively, and explore employment services provided at IowaWORKS One-Stop Center locations, in addition to other helpful services.

Please remember that regardless of the method used to file your application, your claim will be made effective the Sunday of the week in which your application was filed and you must report your continued-claim each week to certify your eligibility.

No matter what method you choose to file your application you'll need to have the following information:

  • Your Social Security number;
  • The name, address and telephone number of your most recent employer, and the beginning and ending dates you worked for that employer;
  • An Alien Registration number, if you are not a U.S. citizen;
  • A DD-214 (Member 4), if you served in the U.S. military during the last 18 months;
  • An SF-8 form, if you worked for the federal government in the last 18 months;
  • The name(s) of anyone you will be claiming as a dependent, up to a maximum of four;
  • The amount your spouse earned in the preceding week, if you want to claim your spouse as a dependent (must be $120 or less to be claimed).

Monetary Record
After you file your claim, you will be mailed a form called the Monetary Record. This form will show:

Carefully examine the earnings reported on the Monetary Record. If you believe the earnings or employers shown are not correct, contact Iowa Workforce Development immediately (or you may send a letter appealing the Monetary Record). If available, send copies of your check stubs, W-2 forms or other proof of earnings.

Benefit Year
When you file a claim, you begin a benefit period of one year from the effective date of your claim. You may file for weeks you are unemployed within the benefit year until you have received your maximum benefit amount (MBA). At the end of your benefit year your claim will end, even if you have not claimed all of your benefits. If you exhaust your MBA prior to the end of your benefit year, you must wait until the end of the benefit year before you can file a new claim. If you file a new claim at the end of your benefit year, you may use your lag quarters from your prior claim that are in the new claim’s base period.

Note: To receive benefits again on a new claim, you must have worked in a job covered by unemployment insurance after the filing of your previous benefit year claim and have been paid gross wages of at least $250.

How Your Social Security Number is Used
Your social security number is used:

  • For processing your unemployment insurance claim;
  • To match with Social Security Administration records to verify your identity;
  • To report unemployment benefit payments to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and to the Iowa Department of Revenue as taxable income;
  • To detect fraud in federal and state programs;
  • For child support enforcement purposes;
  • To verify eligibility for unemployment benefits and public assistance.

Wage, benefit, and other information under your social security number may be exchanged with other agencies that administer federally assisted programs.

Warning:  Do not provide your Social Security Number or other personal information over the telephone unless you can verify they are an Iowa Workforce Development employee.

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How Much You Can Receive and How It Is Determined

Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA)
In Iowa, your weekly benefit amount is determined by your gross wages from all covered employers in the high quarter (HQ) of your base period and by the number of dependents you claim (see dependent information in this section).

The minimum and maximum WBA's change each year for new claims filed after the first Sunday in July. A WBA schedule is available upon request at your nearest IowaWORKS Center.

Your WBA is calculated by the following:
If you have (for program year 7/01/2012 through 6/30/2013):

  • 0 dependents, your WBA is 1/23 of your HQ with a maximum of $396;
  • 1 dependent, your WBA is 1/22 of your HQ with a maximum of $411;
  • 2 dependents, your WBA is 1/21 of your HQ with a maximum of $426;
  • 3 dependents, your WBA is 1/20 of your HQ with a maximum of $449;
  • 4+ dependents, your WBA is 1/19 of your HQ with a maximum of$486;

Example: If your HQ earnings are $9,042 and you have one dependent, your WBA is $411 ($9,042/22 = $411).

Maximum Benefit Amount (MBA)
The most you can receive during your benefit year is 26 times your weekly benefit amount (WBA) or one-third of your total base-period wages, whichever is less.

Exception: If you are unemployed due to your employer closing at the location you were last employed, your maximum benefit amount (MBA) may be increased to 39 times your WBA or one-half your total base-period wages, whichever is less. However, your WBA does not change due to a closing.

Dependents
Since dependents affect the weekly benefit amount you will receive, it is important you report the correct number of qualifying dependents when you file your application. The following may be claimed as dependents, if you meet certain criteria:

  • Spouse, if he/she did not work or worked and earned $120 or less in gross wages during the calendar week prior to the effective date of your claim (exclude self-employment income).
  • Children (or others), only if you are allowed to claim them under federal income tax guidelines and you claimed them this past tax year or will claim them in the current tax year.

Note: A maximum of four dependents is allowed. You cannot claim yourself as a dependent. Dependents cannot be used if someone else has claimed them on a current unemployment claim and that claim has not expired. Ask for more detailed information if you are unsure whether or not you can claim a dependent.

Base Period
The base period is a four-quarter (one-year) period of time from which your weekly benefit amount (WBA) and maximum benefit amount (MBA) are determined. The amount of wages you earn in the base period determines the amount of unemployment benefits you receive.

The base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters at the time you file your initial claim for benefits. The quarter in which you file your claim and the preceding quarter are called the lag quarters and normally are not used to determine your benefits.

Example: If you file a new claim in April, May, or June (second quarter), your base period would be the preceding January 1 through December 31.

Alternate Base Period
If you are a part-time worker, new to the workforce or have had a long break in employment you may not qualify monetarily using the regular base period.  If you fail to qualify monetarily using the regular base period, you will receive a notification that you may be able to file a claim using an alternate base period. 

The alternate base period does not use the earnings from the oldest calendar quarter used in the regular base period and substitutes the earnings from the last completed quarter, a lag quarter.

Example:  If you file a new claim in October, November, or December (fourth quarter), the alternate base period would be the preceding October 1st through September 30th.

Alternate Base Period Table

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What Are the Wage Requirements?

To Be Eligible for Benefits You Must Have:

  1. Earned and have been paid wages by employers covered by unemployment insurance in two or more quarters of your base period.
  2. Total base-period earnings of at least 1.25 times the wages you earned in your highest base-period quarter.
  3. A minimum amount of wages in the high and low quarters of your base period.
         For Program Year 7/01/2012 - 6/30/2013:
              High-Quarter Minimum = $1,360
              Low-Quarter Minimum =  $   680

Note: The same wage requirements apply to a claim filed using the regular base period or the alternate base period.   If you do not meet all of the wage requirements, your are monetarily ineligible for benefits.  However, you may file again in the next calendar quarter where a different base period will be used.

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When Will You Get Paid

You should receive your first payment in about three weeks after you first apply for benefits if you meet all of the eligibility and monetary requirements.  It takes about three weeks to receive your first payment because past employers in the last 18 months are notified of your claim and have 10 days to protest.  If you indicated in your claim that you quit or were fired from your most recent job, your claim is automatically protested. If your claim is protested (see What Happens When Your Claim Is Protested?).

Important Note: You will be paid weekly on a pre-paid debit card unless you have selected the direct-deposit method (see detailed information in How to Get Paid).

Click here for a direct deposit form or go to your local IowaWORKS Center to obtain the form.

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How a Part-Time Job Affects Your Benefits

If you work while claiming benefits, you can earn up to 25 percent of your weekly benefit amount (WBA) before any deduction is made from your benefit payments. All earnings over 25 percent of your WBA are fully deductible. Working part-time will extend the time you may draw benefits within your benefit year. However, the maximum benefit amount (MBA) does not change.

Example: If your WBA is $385, you could earn $96 (25 percent of $385) before you would have a reduction in your benefit payment.  If you had $130 in gross earnings for a week, your benefit payment would be reduced by $34 ($130 minus $96 = $34 reduction) and your benefit amount for that week would be $351 ($385 minus $34).

Each week you claim benefits, you must report your gross wages (before deductions) from any job when you earn them, not when you are paid, even if the total is less than 25 percent of your WBA.  Wages must be reported on a calendar week (Sunday through Saturday) regardless of the workweek used by your employer. There is a Work Record form to help you determine weekly earnings.  If your gross earnings equal or exceed your WBA plus $15, you will not receive any payment for that week.

Note: While working part-time you must continue to look for work and be able and available for your regular type of work. The goal is to return to similar or better pay and hours you had prior to filing your claim.

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Self-Employment

Income from self-employment is not considered wages and is not deducted from unemployment insurance benefits. However, you must still meet the eligibility requirements of being able, available and actively looking for work and willing to accept suitable work. If it is determined your self-employment prevents you from accepting suitable work, you may be disqualified due to being unavailable for work.

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What Can Be Deducted From Your Benefits Other Than Wages?

  • Vacation pay: 100 percent deductible as reported by your employer.
  • Holiday pay: deductible as wages (see section How a Part-Time Job Affects Your Benefits).
  • Severance pay, dismissal/termination pay, separation allowance, wages in lieu of notice: 100 percent deductible.
  • Temporary disability pay under workers’ compensation: 100 percent deductible.
  • Tips, gratuities, commissions, bonuses, and incentive pay earned while claiming benefits: deductible as wages (see Section How a Part-Time Job Affects Your Benefits).
  • Private or government pension, or other similar periodic payment that is based on previous work with a base-period employer: deductible based on the percentage of the employer’s contribution.
  • Cash value of housing or rent provided by your employer as all or part of your wages.

All deductible items are not listed. If you have a question about whether a certain item is deductible from your benefits, contact Iowa Workforce Development for a determination. Failure to report a deductible item can result in an overpayment, which you will be required to repay.

Child Support
By law, Iowa Workforce Development is required to deduct and withhold up to a maximum of 50 percent of your weekly benefit amount (before voluntary withholding of income taxes, but after any deductible earnings) when requested by the Department of Human Services Child Support Recovery Unit for child-support payments. You will receive a written decision from Iowa Workforce Development if this deduction has been requested. Any questions should be directed to the local child-support agency.

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What Are the Work Search Requirements?

Everyone is required to make a minimum of two job contacts each week unless otherwise specified by Iowa Workforce Development.  This is waived if you are temporarily unemployed and expect to be recalled by your former employer in a reasonable period of time.  This will be determined each time you file a claim.

  • You must make contacts, even if you are working part-time.
  • Your job contacts must be made between Sunday and Saturday of the week you are claiming benefits. You may make your job contacts in person, by Internet, by on-line applications, mail, or faxing résumés. Telephone contacts for jobs are not acceptable.
  • Your work search must be a reasonable and honest effort to find suitable work and you must be willing to accept a reasonable wage in your area for the job for which you are applying.
  • Repeat or follow-up work searches may be made to the same employer after six weeks from the initial contact.

You are required to keep a record of your work search contacts.  You need to include:

  • The date of the contact
  • Company name
  • Company address and telephone number, and
  • The name of the person you contacted.

It is suggested that you keep this record on the Work Search form.  You are also required to provide a copy of this information upon request.

You may be denied benefits already paid, if you fail to:

  • Make weekly work searches
  • Keep a record of those work searches
  • Submit the Work Search History form upon request

You will be required to repay any overpayment of benefits that you receive.

Résumés may be accepted as employer contacts if this is the customary means for you to secure employment in your regular occupation.  You must be pre-approved by Iowa Workforce Development to apply in this manner. Résumés must be sent to an employer by mail, fax, on-line or in person, not just a post office box number.  You must keep a record of the employers to whom you sent a résumé and, upon request, provide that information on the Work Search form.

Exceptions
The work search may be waived if you are temporarily unemployed and expect to be recalled by your former employer in a reasonable period of time. This will be determined at the time you complete your application for a new claim or apply to reactivate an existing claim. You will be informed if your work search is waived.  You must still be able and available for work with your regular employer and still may be required to accept other suitable offers of work.  If your employer changes your temporarily unemployed status, you must notify Iowa Workforce Development and register for work. Failure to do so could result in disqualification and possible overpayment that will have to be repaid.

If you are in school or a training program, the work search may be waived. This schooling or training must be approved by Iowa Workforce Development in advance for the work search to be waived. (see You Can Go to School and Still Be Eligible).

Union members who normally get a job through a union hiring hall are required to contact the hiring hall once each week to satisfy their work search requirement.

Note: If your work search requirements change during your benefit year, you will receive a notice from Iowa Workforce Development.

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Eligibility Review

If you are required to make a work search, you may be called into your local IowaWORKS Center to review your work search. If an issue arises that could result in termination of your benefits, you may request three working days to prepare prior to giving a statement.

You also will be given an overview of placement services available at your local IowaWORKS Center. These services are to assist you in becoming re-employed. You may be asked to return to the local IowaWORKS Center to utilize the services that are available for your job search.

The Eligibility Review program is required by the Federal government to ensure you are following the correct procedures to become re-employed and are not placing unrealistic restrictions or barriers to becoming employed. Failure to respond to a call-in could result in a disqualification of benefits.

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Reemployment Services — Profiling

Profiling is done in the first five weeks of your claim by looking at certain factors such as previous occupation, previous industry, education, duration of employment, wages, etc.  If selected, your participation is mandatory since it is a condition of eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits.  If you have been selected to participate in one of our reemployment services programs such as the Reemployment Orientation Workshop (RES), Reemployment Eligibility Assessment (REA) or Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) REA, you will receive a letter outlining which service you have been selected to participate in, where you should report, and what documents you will need to bring when you report.  All of these services are designed to assure you are fully registered for work through Iowa Workforce Development and to provide you with customized reemployment services.

Some examples of reemployment services are:

  • assistance with completing on-line applications
  • résumé writing and cover letter assistance
  • interview preparation
  • effective networking and skills assessments
  • labor market information
  • development of an employment plan and referral to training and educational programs
  • information provided on Skilled Iowa internship opportunities

Recent studies done by the U.S. Department of Labor found that people who received reemployment services returned to work earlier than people who did not receive services.

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What Wage You Must Accept

Suitable Work
You are required to seek and accept suitable work. If the wage of a job offer is significantly below what you averaged at the job you held prior to filing for benefits, the job offer may be considered unsuitable.

Iowa Workforce Development calculates your gross average weekly wage (AWW) by using the high quarter of your base period and dividing it by 13, the number of weeks in a quarter.  A job offer is considered not suitable if the wages are below the following percentages of your AWW:

  • 100% if work is offered during the first five weeks of your claim.
  • 75% if work is offered during the sixth through the 12th weeks of your claim.
  • 70% if work is offered during the 13th through 18th weeks of your claim.
  • 65% if work is offered after the 18th week of your claim. However, you are not required to accept employment below the federal or state minimum wage.

Example: Your high quarter (HQ) earnings during your base period were $5,200, so your average weekly wage (AWW) is calculated at $400 per week ($5200 divided by 13). Your AWW of $400 per week equals $10 per hour, assuming 40 hours a week.

If you are offered work that will pay $280 per week gross ($7 per hour at 40 hours per week) and you have been claiming benefits for nine weeks when the offer was made, the job offer is considered NOT suitable because it is below 75% of your AWW.

Other factors are used to determine suitability of work. If you turn down any job offer or referral, you are required to notify Iowa Workforce Development. Ask for more information if you are considering turning down a job offer or referral to a job.

New Employment or Job Offer
When you start a new job (full or part-time) after applying for unemployment, please notify Iowa Workforce Development. If you are working full-time, you should discontinue calling in your weekly-continued claim.

If you are working part-time, don’t forget to report your gross wages when earned and not when paid. If you have accepted a job offer, you need to continue to look for work until the job actually starts if you want to continue to claim benefits. Many job offers are subject to passing a reference check, physical, drug screen or other work tests. Some offers are rescinded by the employer because of unforeseen cutbacks or because the person who was leaving decided not to leave after all. You also could find a temporary job before the new job starts or find a better job and turn down the first offer.

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What Does Able and Available for Work Mean?

You must be physically able to work during any week you are claiming benefits.  If you are ill, on vacation, injured, on medical leave, or unable to work for any reason, you will not be eligible for benefits.

You are required to report any condition that would prevent you from working, accepting work, or seeking work.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Illness, injury or hospitalization (You may be required to provide evidence of your ability to work, such as a doctor’s statement)
  • Incarceration
  • School attendance
  • Out of town or on vacation
  • Loss of child care or transportation

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You Can Go to School and Still Be Eligible

Department Approved Training (DAT)
You may receive benefits if you are attending school or a training course if approved by Iowa Workforce Development.

You must make a written application for DAT on the form provided by Iowa Workforce Development. If available when you apply for benefits, provide the name of the school, type of training, class schedule, and the beginning and ending dates of training.

Most requests for DAT will be approved if the training has a substantial curriculum. Approval or denial is always in writing and you may appeal if you are denied. While attending approved training, you do not have to be available for work or search for work to continue to be eligible for benefits. However, if you stop training for any reason, you must notify Iowa Workforce Development and must immediately search for work as instructed.

Training Extension Benefits (TEB)
Training extension benefits are an additional 26 weeks of benefits available to individuals:

  • Who meet the eligibility requirements for unemployment benefits,
  • Who are laid-off or voluntarily separated from a declining occupation or involuntarily separated as a result of a permanent reduction of operations at the individual's place of employment.

In addition to the above requirements:

  • your training must be for an occupation that is considered to be a High Demand Occupation (HDO) as defined by Iowa Workforce Development, or
  • a high-tech occupation or training approved under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), or
  • you must be working towards a GED in an approved program.

Application for these training extension benefits (TEB) must be submitted before the end of the benefit year of the UI claim.  TEB is only payable after all payments on regular and extension unemployment insurance benefits are exhausted and is only available to individuals who are attending a Department Approved Training program meeting the above requirements.

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How to Claim Benefits Each Week

Each week you are unemployed and want to claim benefit payments, you must certify that you:

  • are unemployed or working reduced hours;
  • are able and available for work;
  • have not refused any job offers or referrals to a job;
  • are actively looking for work (unless waived); and
  • are reporting any pay or private pension you may be receiving;

This is done each week on-line using the continued claims web application or by telephone using the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) unit.

Continued Claim Web Reporting
You may file your weekly-continued claim on-line at https://uiclaims.iwd.iowa.gov/weeklyclaims. You will be presented your eligibility questions.

Touch-Tone Telephone Reporting
To file your weekly-continued claim by telephone, just call the continued claims reporting system at (800) 850-5627.  An Interactive Voice Response unit (IVR) will answer. A prerecorded voice will ask you the eligibility questions one at a time. You answer yes by pressing number 1 and no by pressing number 9.

Some questions will instruct you to enter the pound key (#) at the end of your answer.  Many of your answers will be repeated to you by the computer system to make sure the information is correct. If it is not, you will be instructed on how to change your answer. The average length of time to file your continued claim by telephone is about three minutes.

IMPORTANT: If you get disconnected, hang up or close out of the application before the system tells you that your claim has been accepted, you will have to log-in or call again to successfully file your continued claim.

Hours You Can Report Your Weekly Claim
10 a.m., Saturday to 11:30 p.m., Sunday
or
8:00 a.m. to 4:59 p.m.
Monday through Friday

The current week is the week that just ended on Saturday. Continued claims filed on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday are processed at the end of the day on Monday.  Phone lines are very busy on Saturday afternoon. Therefore, we suggest you use the web application at https://uiclaims.iwd.iowa.gov/weeklyclaims or call late Saturday or on Sunday or Monday to avoid a busy signal.

If you reporting for just one week, the system will allow you to file one back week and the current week.

Personal Identification Number (PIN)
The IVR system and the on-line continued claims application for filing your weekly-continued claim or reactivating an existing claim require you to enter a four-digit personal identification number (PIN). Your PIN protects you from having another person file your claim or obtain information about your claim.

You will select your own PIN the first time you call in or log in on-line to report your weekly-continued claim. Be sure to select a PIN that will be easy to remember, since you must use the same PIN each time you log in or call to file your weekly-continued claim or reactivate an existing claim. Do not use the repeated numbers (such as 1111 or 3333) or numbers in sequence (such as 1234).

Note: In some cases you will need to select a new PIN the first time you log in or call in your continued claim after reactivating an existing claim.)

You, the claimant, are responsible for the answers to the questions presented by the on-line web application and the IVR system so be sure you keep your PIN number secure. It is not permissible for any other individual to file your weekly-continued claim for you.  Do not share your PIN with anyone.

If you forget your PIN or you think someone else knows your PIN, report this immediately to Iowa Workforce Development and you will be provided instructions on how to establish a new PIN with your next call.

Preparing to File Your Weekly-Continued Claim

  1. Be sure to have your Social Security number and your PIN number.
  2. If you worked during the week or you received or will receive vacation or holiday pay, etc. during the week, be sure you know the gross (before deductions) amount in dollars before you call.
  3. Have a pencil and paper ready to write down information you may need when contacting Iowa Workforce Development.

Reporting Your Weekly-Continued Claim
When you call to file your weekly-continued claim, you may select either the English or the Spanish version of the script.  Each time you report  you will be asked a series of basic questions that can be answered by responding yes or no.  You will also be asked to provide basic information that will depend on the answers you provide to the basic questions.  A sample script is provided below for you to review prior to calling in your first continued claim. Reviewing this sample script may save you time and confusion.

Sample Telephone IVR Script

  1. Welcome to Iowa’s unemployment insurance claims reporting system.  For English, press one. For Spanish, press two (actual phrase is in Spanish).
  2. Please enter your nine digit Social Security number.
  3. You entered 967524183. If this is correct, please press one. If this is not correct, please press two.
  4. Please enter your personal identification number followed by the pound key.
  5. One moment please (brief pause).
  6. Your new PIN is now set up as 5241 (If a PIN has already been established caller will not receive this message and will continue to number 7).
  7. Do you have a new address or telephone number? If yes, press one. If no, press nine.
  8. To check on a benefit payment, press one. To enter your weekly claim for unemployment benefits, press two. To repeat this menu, press three.
  9. You may enter your claim for the week ending 032710.
  10. It is important that you answer all questions truthfully. WARNING! Attempting to claim and receive unemployment insurance benefits by entering false information can result in loss of benefits, fines and imprisonment. To show you understand the warning message, please press one now. To show that you do not understand the warning message, press nine.
  11. Your weekly claim can now be entered. If you hang up before the system tells you good-bye, your answers will not be recorded and your payment will not be made.
  12. Did you work during the week ending 032710? If yes, press one. If no, press nine.
    Questions 13, 14, 15 and 16 will only be asked if you answered yes to question 12.
  13. Was this self-employment?  If yes, press one.  If no, press nine.
  14. Please enter your gross wages (rounded to the nearest dollar) for the week ending 032710 followed by the pound key.
  15. You said you worked during the week ending 032710.
    If you are still working, press two.
    If you are laid off, press four.
    If you were fired, press six.
    If you quit press eight.
  16. During the week claimed you worked and earned $Amount you entered in number 14 and you were Option you selected in number 15. If this is correct, press one.  If this is not correct, press nine.
  17. Enter your holiday pay. For no pay, enter zero followed by the pound key or enter the gross amount rounded to the nearest dollar, followed by the pound key.
  18. Enter your vacation pay, severance, wages in lieu of notice, separation or dismissal pay. If none was received, press zero followed by the pound key or enter the gross amount rounded to the nearest dollar, followed by the pound key.
  19. If you are now receiving private pension or military retirement, press one. If you are not receiving these, press nine.
  20. Were you ready, willing, able and available for work during the week ending 032710?  If yes, press one.  If no, press nine.
  21. Did you refuse any job offers or job referrals during the week?  If yes, press one.  If no, press nine.
    Questions 22, 23 and 24 will not be asked if work search is waived.
  22. Enter the number of employers you contacted followed by the pound key.
  23. Were at least two contacts made in person?  If yes, press one.  If no, press nine.
  24. Please remember it is your responsibility to keep a complete record of your work search contacts, as directed by the Workforce Development Center, and to provide a copy if requested.
  25. The law imposes penalties for false statements. Do you certify the statements which you entered are true for the week ending 032710? If yes, press one. To hear this statement again, press nine. To cancel your claim, press seven.
  26. Your claim for week ending 032710 has been filed. Thank you. To avoid a delay in benefit payments, please remember you must file each week. Good bye. Please hang up your phone.

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How to Determine the Status of Your Claim and When You Will Be Paid

After you have claimed your first two weeks you can find out the status of your claim for benefits on-line at https://uiclaims.iwd.iowa.gov/weeklyclaims or by telephoning (800) 850-5627, the same number you use to file your weekly-continued claim. 

Just follow the prompts in the same manner as you would to file your weekly claim and select the option  “To check on the status of your claim”.

You can find out:

  • The last week you claimed, if any.
  • When your last payment was applied to your debit card or forwarded to your financial institution.
  • The amount of the payment.
  • Remaining balance (in dollars).

The status of claim option is only available 8:00 a.m. to 4:59 p.m., Tuesday through Friday.  (If Monday is a holiday, the status of claim option is not available until Wednesday of that week.)

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How to Get Paid

Payment by Pre-Paid Debit Card
You will receive a weekly payment that is applied to a pre-paid debit card unless you have requested direct deposit. You may access funds at your convenience using the pre-paid debit card.

The debit card will allow you to:

  • Make purchases or get cash back at a merchant
  • Get cash at an ATM
  • Get cash from a teller in a Bank or Credit Union

The pre-paid debit card option will also allow you unlimited access through a secure website or the Integrated Voice Response System (IVR) to:

  • Check your balance
  • Select or change your Personal Identification Number (PIN)

    Note: The PIN for your pre-paid debit card may be different than the PIN used for reporting to Iowa Workforce Development.

  • Review transaction history
  • Sign up for and receive notification of deposits by telephone or email
    • For telephone notification of deposits posted to your account, call the customer service IVR at (866) 899-5611 (toll free) and follow the prompts to setup this service.

      Each month you are allowed six (6) free calls to the IVR to check your balance and obtain account information.
    • For email notification of deposits to your account, go to https://www.EPPICard.com.

      Setup your ID and password and enter your personal email address.

      You have unlimited access to the on-line service to check your balance and obtain account information.

Your first benefit payment will be applied to the pre-paid debit card, if determined eligible (about three weeks), you will begin receiving weekly deposits to your debit card account. If you file your continued claim each week on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday, your payment should be applied to your debit card on Thursday*.

Exception: If there is a holiday during the week, payment will be delayed an extra workday.  Since you will not receive any written notification of the deposit, it is your responsibility to verify receipt of the deposits posted to your debit card account by using the unlimited access through the secure website at https://www.EPPICard.com or by calling the IVR toll free number at (866) 899-5611.

Payment by Direct Deposit
To setup direct deposit you must obtain your financial institution’s transit number and your account number (savings or checking) and complete the Direct Deposit Agreement form 60-0351.  The form provides you with instructions on how to locate the transit number and account number or you may contact your financial institution. You must return the completed form to:

Iowa Workforce Development
Unemployment Insurance Service Center
P.O. Box 10332
Des Moines, IA 50306-0332

After you receive your first payment (about three weeks) and your form is processed, you will begin receiving weekly deposits. If you telephone each week to file your continued claim on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday, your payment should be deposited in your account on Friday*.

Exception: If there is a holiday during the week, payment will be delayed an extra workday.) Since you will not receive any written notification of your deposit, it is your responsibility to verify receipt of the deposit from your financial institution.

*Due to circumstances outside our control, sometimes checks are not deposited or received on the expected day.

Denial of Benefits
Even though you may meet all other requirements, you may be disqualified from receiving unemployment insurance.

Some of the reasons you may be disqualified are if you:

  • Quit your job without good cause attributable to your employer.
  • Were discharged or suspended for misconduct in connection with your job.
  • Refused suitable work with an employer or recall to suitable work by your former employer.
  • Are not able to work, not available to work or not actively seeking work as required.
  • Are unemployed due to a strike or labor dispute.
  • Have set unrealistic limitations on the wages, hours or days, types of work or locations of a job you will accept.
  • Fail to report to the IowaWORKS Center or satisfactorily participate in reemployment services when told to do so.
  • Are a school employee with either a contract or reasonable assurance of returning to work when school resumes the next academic year or term. If you are an educational employee, ask if this applies to you.
  • Fail to return the Work Search History form when requested.

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How to Reactivate Your Claim

If you have an existing claim, (claims are effective for one year) and you stopped claiming (weekly-continued claim call) for one or more weeks and you want to receive benefits again, you must reactivate your claim.

Reactivating an existing claim can be done on-line at http://www.iowaworkforce.org/ui/file1.htm.  If you only worked for one employer during the past six months, you may reactivate an existing claim over the telephone using the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system.

You must reactivate your claim during the week you want to claim not after the week is over. The telephone system will ask you if you have worked since you last filed for unemployment benefits. This means since you filed your last weekly-continued claim or since you last activated your existing claim even though you may not have reported any weekly-continued claims. If you have worked, your answer should be yes. If you haven't worked (didn't claim a week or more due to illness, vacation, etc.) answer no.

If there is a problem on your claim or you worked for more than one employer, you will be instructed to contact your local IowaWORKS Center where a representative will help you resolve the problem and reactivate your existing claim.

When you call to reactivate your claim, a prerecorded message (a script) play. You will be asked to provide information and answer yes and no questions using your telephone keypad.

The first time you called in to report your weekly claim you established a personal identification number (PIN). This same PIN can be used to reactivate your claim.

Sample scripts are provided below for you to review prior to making your call to reactivate your claim. Reviewing these scripts may save you time and confusion during your call.

Please be sure to listen very carefully to the script you hear when you call since that script may not match the sample scripts.

Touch-Tone Telephone Reactivation of an Existing Claim
To reactivate your existing claim by telephone, just call (866) 239-0843. An Interactive Voice Response (IVR) unit will answer. You may select either the English or Spanish version of the script. A prerecorded voice will ask you to provide information by responding to questions one at a time. You answer yes by pressing number 1 and no by pressing number 2 (this is different than the continued claims reporting system).

Several of your answers will be repeated to you by the computer system to make sure the information is correct. If it is not, you will be instructed on how to change your answer.

Important: If you get disconnected or hang up before the system asks you to certify your statements as being true and you respond that they are, you will have to call again to reactivate your claim.

Hours You Can Reactivate Your Existing Claim

The Internet filing option is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Touch-Tone Telephone IVR System
8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday
8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Friday
9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Saturday
(with the exception of state holidays)

Preparing to reactivate an Existing Claim

  1. Be sure to have your Social Security number and your PIN number for the call.
  2. If you have worked since you last reported a weekly-continued claim or activated your claim, you will need the following information:
    • Name and address of your employer.
    • Date you started working for your most recent employer, and
    • The date you last worked for that employer.
  3. If you have received or will receive vacation and/or severance pay, you will need the ending date of the period covered by that pay.
  4. Have a pencil and paper to write down information that you may need, such as your work search requirements.

Sample Telephone IVR Scripts
Sample 1—Temporary Layoff
The caller was temporarily laid off on 01-04-2008 and filed a valid claim with an effective date of 01-06-2008. He/She drew several weeks of benefits and then returned to work with the same employer on 01-28-2008, so the last week claimed was 01-25-2008. He/She is again temporarily laid off from that same employer, his/her last date worked was 06-20-2008, and he/she won’t receive any vacation or severance pay. The caller expects to be recalled by his/her employer. The caller waits until Monday morning the 23rd of June to call the IVR and reactivate the existing claim because Monday starts the week that he/she is unemployed.

  1. Welcome to the Unemployment Insurance Customer Service Center, a service of Iowa Workforce Development. For English, press one. For Spanish, press two (actual phrase is in Spanish).
    Caller wants the script in English, so presses 1.
  2. To file a new claim or reopen an old claim, please press one. For a question on unemployment insurance or fact-finding, press two. To file your weekly-continued claim, press three.
    Caller wants to reactivate an existing claim (reopen an old claim), so presses 1.
  3. Please enter your Social Security number.
    Caller enters 967524183 (his/her Social Security number).
  4. You entered 967524183. If this is correct, please press one. If not, press two.
    Caller presses 1.
  5. If you know your PIN, please press one. If you do not know your PIN, press two.
    Caller knows his/her PIN, so presses 1.
  6. Please enter your PIN.
    Caller presses 7524 (his/her four-digit PIN).
  7. Have you worked since you last filed for unemployment benefits? If yes, please press one. If no, press two.
    Caller presses 1 because he/she had returned to work and is now laid off again.
  8. Have you worked for more than one employer in the past six months? If yes, please press one. If no, press two.
    Caller has only worked for one employer in the past six months, so presses 2.
  9. If you are not working because the business closed, please press one. If you were laid off, please press two. If you quit, press three. If you were discharged, press four. If there was a strike or lock out, press five. If you are still working, press six. If none of these apply, press nine. To hear these choices again, press eight.
    Caller is temporarily laid off, so presses 2. (Although the business may be closed down during the layoff, it is not permanently closed.)
  10. Did you decline to bump an employee with less seniority? If yes, please press one. If no, press two.
    Caller wasn’t laid off because he/she declined to bump another employee with less seniority, so presses 2.
  11. Do you expect to be recalled by your most recent employer? If yes, please press one. If no, press two.
    Caller expects to return to work with the employer in a reasonable period of time, so presses 1.
  12. Please enter the date you started working for your most recent employer. For example, June 5, 2000, would be entered as 060500.
    Caller began employment on February 1, 1999, so presses 020199.
  13. Please enter the date you last worked. For example, January 2, 1999, would be entered as 010299.
    Caller last worked on June 20, 2008, so presses 062008.
  14. Will you receive severance pay or vacation pay? If yes, please press one. If no, press two.
    Caller isn’t receiving severance or vacation pay, so presses 2.
  15. You will need to reset your PIN number the next time you call to file your continued claim. Remember to report any holiday pay as wages. You said you started work on 020199. You said you last worked on 06-20-2008. You said the last day you were or will be paid was 06-20-2008 (computer calculated this date based on the caller providing the date he/she last worked and indicating no severance or vacation pay). You said you filed your claim because you were laid off. If this is correct, please press one. If this is not correct, press two.
    Caller presses 1 because the responses are correct.
  16. You must notify Iowa Workforce Development if your layoff status changes. For example, notify us if you were on temporary layoff, then told by your employer that you will be permanently laid off.
  17. Is there a change to your name, address or telephone number that you have not reported? If yes, please press one. If no, press two.
    Caller presses 2 because none of the items have changed since he/she last applied for benefits.
  18. The law imposes penalties for false statements. Do you certify the statements you entered are true? If yes, please press one. If no, press two, To hear this message again, press three.
    Caller certifies the statements given are true by pressing 1 and then hangs up.

Sample 2—Hasn’t Worked Since Last Claiming
The caller was permanently laid off on 01-04-2008 and filed a valid claim with an effective date of 01-06-2008. He/She drew several weeks of benefits, then went to take care of a sick family member for three weeks and was not available for work, so he/she did not call in weekly-continued claims for those weeks. He/She became available for work again on 02-15-2008. He/She waits until Monday morning the 18th of February to call the IVR and reactivate the existing claim because he/she wasn’t available for work the majority of the previous week(s), so Monday starts the first week he/she is available.

  1. Welcome to the Unemployment Insurance Customer Service Center, a service of Iowa Workforce Development. For English, press one. For Spanish, press two (actual phrase is in Spanish).
    Caller wants the script in English, so presses 1.
  2. To file a new claim or reopen an old claim, please press one. For a question on unemployment insurance or fact-finding, press two. To file your weekly-continued claim, press three.
    Caller wants to reactivate an existing claim (reopen an old claim), so presses 1.
  3. Please enter your Social Security number.
    Caller enters 976251483 (his/her Social Security number).
  4. You entered 976251483. If this is correct, please press one. If not, press two.
    Caller presses 1.
  5. If you know your PIN, please press one. If you do not know your PIN, press two.
    Caller knows his/her PIN, so presses 1.
  6. Please enter your PIN.
    Caller presses 3786 (his/her four-digit PIN).
  7. Have you worked since you last filed for unemployment benefits? If yes, please press one. If no, press two.
    Caller hasn’t worked since he/she last filed for benefits, so presses 2.
  8. Are you able and available for work? If yes, please press one. If no, press two.
    Caller is able and available for work now, so presses 1.
  9. You said you are able and available for work. If this is correct, please press one. If this is not correct, press two.
    Caller presses 1.
  10. The law imposes penalties for false statements. Do you certify the statements you entered are true? If yes, please press one. If no, press two. To hear this message again, press three.
    Caller certifies the statements are true by pressing 1 and then hangs up.

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What Happens When Your Claim Is Protested?

All employers you've had for the last 18 months can potentially be liable for your unemployment insurance benefits; therefore, they are eligible to protest.

If you indicated in your claim that you quit or were fired from your most recent job, your claim is automatically protested.

Fact-Finding Interview
If your claim for unemployment insurance is protested, Iowa Workforce Development may arrange a fact-finding interview. You should continue to phone in your weekly-continued claims if your claim is protested.

The fact-finding interview will normally be conducted by telephone. You and the employer will receive a Notice of Unemployment Insurance Fact-Finding Interview containing the scheduled date, time, and the telephone number where you will be called for the interview. Complete instructions are provided on the notice you receive.

If you will not be available to participate, notify Iowa Workforce Development immediately or you may lose your benefits. Follow the instructions on the notice you received to contact Iowa Workforce Development.

Within a few days of the interview, you will receive an appealable decision in the mail. Read it carefully. If it is favorable to you and there are no additional issues, your claim will be released so you can begin receiving payments. However, if the decision is later reversed on appeal, you will be required to repay the benefits you received.

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If You Are Denied Benefits, Can You Appeal?

First-Level Appeal—Administrative Law Judge
If you or the employer disagree with a decision, either party has the right to appeal and present testimony to an administrative law judge. The appeal must be postmarked or received within 10 calendar days after the mailing date shown on the decision. You may mail your appeal to:

Iowa Workforce Development
Appeals Bureau
1000 East Grand Avenue,
Des Moines, IA 50309-0209
or
Fax it to (515) 242-5144.

You may contact the Appeals Bureau at (515) 281-3747 or your local IowaWORKS Center to assist you in filing an appeal or answering general questions.

If the decision is appealed by either you or the employer, a formal hearing over the telephone with an administrative law judge is scheduled. However, you or the employer may request an in-person hearing. The party requesting the in-person hearing must travel to the IowaWORKS Center closest to the other party.

There are 15 IowaWORKS Centers that conduct in-person hearings.

Note: You should continue to file weekly-continued claims during the appeal process.)

If you receive a notice for a telephone hearing, you will be instructed to telephone the Appeals Bureau immediately to verify that you will participate and to provide the phone number where you and witnesses can be reached. The Appeals Bureau phone number on the notice is toll-free.

Warning: If you do not telephone the Appeals Bureau prior to your scheduled hearing, you will not be called to participate.

Unlike the fact-finding interview, an appeal hearing is formal due process where all parties are sworn in and the hearing is recorded on tape.

The administrative law judge will take new statements concerning the issue even if a statement was already given at the fact-finding interview. Either party can submit additional evidence at the hearing, so it is important you participate. You may choose to be represented by an attorney but you must do so at your expense.

The administrative law judge makes an impartial decision based on the information presented at the hearing and the contents of your file. You will receive the administrative law judge’s decision in the mail in about 10 to 14 days.

Second-Level Appeal - Employment Appeal Board
If you or the employer disagree with the administrative law judge’s decision, it may be appealed to the Employment Appeal Board. The appeal must be postmarked within 15 calendar days from the mailing date of the administrative law judge’s decision.

Members of the Employment Appeal Board are appointed by the governor to equally represent (1) employees, (2) employers, and (3) the general public. The board is in the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, located in the Lucas State Office Building.

All parties will receive a written transcript of the administrative law judge’s hearing and will be given an opportunity to submit a written summary of their side.

The Employment Appeal Board does not hold hearings. The board decides each case by reviewing all the evidence that was presented to the administrative law judge. The board may affirm or reverse the administrative law judge’s decision or may send the case back to the administrative law judge for further review or order a new hearing and decision if they feel the evidence in the administrative law judge’s hearing is not sufficient or is incomplete. It usually takes 60 to 180 days from the date the appeal is filed to receive the Appeal Board decision.

If you disagree with the Employment Appeal Board decision, you may file a petition for judicial review in Iowa District Court or request a rehearing before the Appeal Board. The procedure and appeal deadlines are indicated on the decision.

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What If You Are Overpaid?

If you receive benefits to which you are not entitled, you will be liable for repayment of those benefits.  Iowa Workforce Development will recover an overpayment by requiring you to repay the total overpayment amount or repay under an installment payment plan if approved by the department. If you become eligible for unemployment insurance benefits in the future and you have an overpayment balance, your overpayment will be recovered by deducting it from any benefits you might otherwise receive on a weekly basis. No unemployment insurance benefits can be paid on a regular unemployment insurance claim until the overpayment has been recovered.

If you have an overpayment of at least $50, the department will garnish your Iowa state tax refund, lottery prize, or vendor payment. If fraud is involved, the Investigations and Recovery Bureau may file a lien against your property and/or garnish wages to recover the overpayment.

Note: Total overpayment amounts include payments made to you and payment made on your behalf to revenue agencies for tax withholding and to the Child Support Recovery Unit for child support.

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Are Benefits Taxable?

All unemployment insurance benefits are fully taxable on your state income taxes.  You have the option of having federal and/or state taxes withheld from your benefit payments. Deductions are 10 percent of the gross benefit payment for federal taxes and 5 percent of the gross benefit payment for state taxes. If you elect to have taxes deducted, you will have to complete and sign the Tax Withholding Agreement form 60-0360.pdf

Please check your options for federal or state or both, sign, date and return the form to:

Iowa Workforce Development
Unemployment Insurance Service Center
P.O. Box 10332
Des Moines, IA 50306-0332

By January 31 of each year, you will be mailed a Form 1099-G telling you the amount of benefits you were paid during the previous year and any federal and/or state taxes that were withheld. The Internal Revenue Service and the state Department of Revenue and Finance also are advised of the amount of benefits paid to you and deductions withheld for you.

Requirements exist pertaining to quarterly tax payments. If you need tax assistance, contact the Internal Revenue Service at (800) 829-1040.

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Using Wages Earned in Another State, the Military or the Federal Government

When you file a claim you must report all wages in all states in the last 18 months, including wages from the military and federal employers, and provide complete addresses and dates of employment. If we have to request wage information from another state or the federal government, your claim will be delayed until we receive this information (usually about one week).

To receive credit for military wages, you need to provide a copy of your DD-214 (Member 4). If you served in the reserves, you must have had at least 90 consecutive days of active service for these wages to be used. The military service, not Iowa Workforce Development, determines if your earnings can be used on a claim.

If you worked for the federal government (nonmilitary), please send, if available, copies of your check stubs, W-2 and SF-8, which show the payroll address of your federal employer to the UI Service Center.

Iowa Workforce Development will inform you of your options in filing if you have any wages from out of state, the military or the federal government.

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If You Move Out of Iowa, May You Claim Benefits Using Your Iowa Wages?

Interstate Claim
If you filed a claim in Iowa and then moved out of state, go to or call the nearest public employment service office in the state where you live. That office will register you for work. You will be instructed by your resident state to call the Iowa Unemployment Insurance Service Center to change your address and telephone number. (You must notify the UI Service Center of any address changes because unemployment insurance correspondence may not be forwarded by the Postal Service.) You will continue to file your weekly-continued claims using the toll-free number in Iowa. Iowa will continue to be the state paying your benefits until you obtain work, exhaust benefits, or your benefit year expires.

If you move out of Iowa and then want to file for benefits using Iowa wages, you must report to the nearest unemployment insurance office in the state where you are now living. That office will register you for work and instruct you to call the Iowa UI Service Center Interstate line to file your application for benefits.

Note: If you have worked in the state you moved to, you may be eligible to combine your wages from Iowa and the other state. This may increase your WBA and MBA, so be sure to ask your resident state about that option.

The UI Service Center will then administer your claim and mail you all the information you need to claim benefits. You will file your weekly-continued claim on-line or by telephone as explained in Reporting Your Weekly-Continued Claim.

Once you establish an Iowa interstate claim, Mail all correspondence to:

Unemployment Insurance Service Center
P.O. Box 10332
Des Moines, IA 50306-0332

For Interstate telephone inquiries, call (866) 239-0843.

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The Quality Control Program

The Quality Control program randomly selects claimants who are currently filing for benefits and reviews their claim. If you are selected, you will be asked to verify any wages you’ve earned and work search contacts you’ve made. You are required to attend an interview with a Quality Control representative. If you refuse to cooperate, you may be denied benefits. If you are selected for a review, it does not mean we suspect you have done something wrong. The federal government, for program improvement, requires the Quality Control program.

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Release of Information

Information on your unemployment insurance claim is considered confidential by law. You may have a copy of all information in your file if you contact the UI Service Center or submit a written and signed request. Only general information may be given over the telephone. If you provide a written and signed request, wage record information will be provided to a third party.

Information on your claim does become a matter of public record if you receive an appeal decision on your claim from an administrative law judge (see First-Level Appeal).

Iowa Workforce Development will release information on your claim to various federal and state agencies if requested, and we are required to provide it by law, rule or regulation.

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Are There Any Other Benefit Programs?

Workforce Investment Act
If you are unemployed as a result of a permanent layoff, plant or business closing, and you have had the same type of job for many years, you may be eligible for this special dislocated worker program. If you think you qualify for this program, ask for more specific information.

Trade Act
If you are unemployed due to foreign imports, you may qualify for Trade Adjustment Assistance. If you think you qualify for this program, ask for more specific information.

Workers’ Compensation Unemployment Insurance Claim
If you have recovered from a workers’ compensation injury or illness and you lack the necessary earnings to qualify for an unemployment insurance claim as explained in What Are the Wage Requirements?, you may be eligible to receive benefits based on wages you were paid before the workers’ compensation claim. If you think you qualify for this program, ask for more specific information.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)
If you are unemployed as a result of a disaster and you lack the necessary earnings to qualify for an unemployment insurance claim as explained in What Are the Wage Requirements?, you may be eligible to receive benefits based on non-covered wages. If you think you qualify for this program, ask for more specific information.

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When Benefits Are Exhausted

When either the national or Iowa unemployment rates exceed a certain level, you may be entitled to additional weeks of benefits after exhausting all regular benefits. If an extended benefit period is declared and it appears that you qualify, you will be notified to contact Iowa Workforce Development.

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Fraud

You commit fraud if you knowingly make false statements, provide false information, or withhold information to obtain benefits. Examples of fraud include failure to properly report work and earnings or a job separation. Attempts to claim and receive benefits fraudulently can result in loss of benefits, fines or imprisonment.  Be sure you make no false statement when applying for unemployment insurance or during the time you are claiming and receiving benefits.

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Equal Opportunity Is the Law

Iowa Workforce Development is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in its programs and services on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation, or belief, and for beneficiaries only, citizenship or participation in WIA.

If you think you have been subjected to discrimination you should contact the affirmative action officer located at:

Iowa Workforce Development
1000 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0209

Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

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IowaWORKS Center Directory

If you have any questions concerning registration for work, contact your nearest IowaWORKS Center.

If you have general unemployment insurance questions, please call the Unemployment Insurance Service at (866) 239-0843 or email  uiclaimshelp@iwd.iowa.gov.

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Reporting

To reactivate an existing claim

On-line web application ...................................... http://www.iowaworkforce.org
Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week

 

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) ....................................................(866) 239-0843

Monday through Thursday - 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Friday - 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Saturday - 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
(excluding state holidays)

For questions and assistance with your claim, call............................(866) 239-0843

Monday through Thursday - 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Friday - 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Saturday - 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
(excluding state holidays)

To continue receiving benefits, report each week:

On-line web application ...................https://uiclaims.iwd.iowa.gov/weeklyclaims

Interactive Voice Response (IVR).....................................................(800) 850-5627

10:00 a.m., Saturday to 11:30 p.m., Sunday or
7:30 a.m. to 4:59 p.m., Monday through Friday

Note:  Phone lines are very busy on Saturday afternoon. Please try on Sunday or Monday to avoid a busy signal.

To check on the status of your claim or status of your benefit payment:

On-line web application ...................https://uiclaims.iwd.iowa.gov/weeklyclaims

Interactive Voice Response (IVR).....................................................(800) 850-5627

8:00 a.m. to 4:59 p.m., Tuesday through Friday

Note:  If Monday is a holiday, information is not available until Wednesday of that week.

Unemployment Insurance Claims Help
E-mail: uiclaimshelp@iwd.iowa.gov


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