Iowa unemployment weekly

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How to File a Weekly Claim

Most claimants can receive unemployment insurance (UI) benefits for up to 26 weeks, and in some cases 39 weeks.  To receive payments after filing for UI benefits, a claimant must confirm eligibility every week using the claims reporting system.

Each week that the weekly claim is filed, the claimant will be asked to certify the following:

  • are unemployed or working only reduced hours
  • are able and available for work
  • have not refused any job offers or referrals
  • are actively looking for work (unless waived)
  • are reporting any pension they may be receiving
  • are reporting any gross wages, vacation (PTO), severance and/or holiday pay they may be receiving

The weekly claim can be filed online or by mobile devices.

Review these Frequently Asked Questions about Unemployment Insurance and weekly claim filing.

The payment information page has details about debit card and direct deposit benefit payment options. (This page has an updated Notice for Bank of America Cardholders - Sept 2021).

Here is a helpful document that briefly describes the Unemployment Insurance claim process. 

File Weekly Claim Now

Hours to Submit a Weekly Claim

Monday through Friday: 8:00 am - 5:30 pm

8:00 am to 7:30 pm Sunday 

Check the Status of a UI Claim (Benefit Inquiry)

The 'status of claim' option allows claimants to verify:

  • the last week UI benefits were claimed
  • the date and amount of the last UI benefit payment 
  • the remaining balance of UI benefits available to receive

The 'status of claim' or 'UI benefit payment' is available online.

Check UI Claim Status

Hours to Check Status of a UI Claim

Tuesday through Friday: 8:00 am - 5:30 pm

If Monday is a holiday, the 'status of claim' option is not available until Wednesday of that week.


Iowa Workforce Development Communications
For Immediate Release
Date: February 26, 2016
Contact: Courtney Greene
Telephone: 515-281-9646
Email:  [email protected]

DES MOINES, IOWA – Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) Unemployment Insurance Division is making it easier and more convenient for Iowans to file weekly unemployment insurance claims using a mobile device. 

Recent upgrades now allow Iowans to use a smart phone or tablet, in addition to a computer, to file weekly (continuing) unemployment insurance claims and review their benefit status online. Note: New or initial unemployment insurance claims must be filed on a computer, due to the number of questions and amount of information required to set up a new account.

IWD shared news of the improvements ahead of the Oct. 1, 2016, deadline, when the Unemployment Insurance Division will phase out the telephone filing option and ask Iowans to file online. The enhanced tool is available in English and Spanish.

Claimants follow these simple steps to file weekly unemployment insurance claims and check benefit status on a mobile device or tablet:

IWD announced in July it was phasing out the telephone filing option effective Oct. 1, 2016. Claimants who do not have access to a computer, tablet or mobile device will still receive assistance over the phone from Customer Service representatives so they can still receive unemployment insurance services without interruption.

Ryan West, UI Division Officer, said providing the mobile option will make it easier for individuals to file a weekly unemployment insurance claim and review their benefit status. 

“For many people, their smart phone or tablet is their computer,” West said. “This enhanced option will allow Iowans to easily check their unemployment insurance benefit status and file their continued weekly unemployment insurance claims securely, timely and accurately.”

West said the online option will help to ensure more timely and accurate unemployment insurance benefit payouts to individuals. A verified record of filing is provided with a time and date stamp.

“In addition, we’re revising the continued claim form to help individuals submit accurate work search documentation in an effort to help them find steady employment.”

West said employers and businesses will also reap benefits with the focus on online filing.

“We are committed to driving down administrative costs in the unemployment insurance benefits system,” West said. “The integrity of the unemployment insurance trust fund will be maintained by reducing incidents of fraud by eliminating improper payments, helping to lower employers’ taxes and helping to drive down administrative costs in the unemployment insurance benefits system.”

If individuals do not have access to a computer, a limited number of Customer Service representatives are available to process claims over the phone. The Unemployment Insurance Customer Service number is 1-866-239-0843. Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“We are excited to offer a mobile option to make it easy for all Iowans to submit their unemployment insurance claims filings online,” West said. “It is only natural we move to primarily an online system for filing unemployment insurance claims to mirror job searching practices of submitting job applications online.” 


An Equal Opportunity Employer/Program

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

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After cutting off federal jobless aid to get people back to work, Iowa is raising unemployment benefits. Why?

State compensation for newly unemployed Iowans is increasing.

Iowa Workforce Development announced Wednesday that the agency will raise the amount of money new claimants can receive, starting Sunday. The state is resetting the benefits because the average wage in Iowa rose from 2019 to 2020.

State law dictates that unemployment insurance payments be based on a formula that takes into account how much claimants earned before losing their jobs, how many dependents they claim and how much the average worker in the state earns. The annual average wage in Iowa increased from about $48,500 in 2019 to about $52,100 in 2020.

As a result of the change, the maximum weekly unemployment benefit in Iowa will increase to $651 from $605. That is for claimants with at least four dependents who earned about $50,000 a year prior to losing their jobs. The percentage increase, 7.4%, roughly matches that for the average wage.

Claimants who made less money or had fewer dependents receive lower weekly benefits.

More:Iowa unemployment rate rises slightly as slow recovery from COVID-19 pandemic continues

Iowa's weekly unemployment benefit increase

The increased rate only applies to Iowans filing new unemployment claims next week. Iowans currently on unemployment will continue to receive their current amount.

More:Iowa Workforce Development warns of fake website set up to steal unemployment applicants' information

The raise in weekly payments follows Gov. Kim Reynolds' decision to end federal pandemic unemployment aid for Iowans in June, on the theory that it was contributing to a labor shortage. It also comes after claims paid to the record number of Iowans receiving jobless benefits at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic drew down the state's unemployment trust fund shrunk. As of Monday, it stood at $976 million, down about 19% from $1.2 billion at the end of February 2020, just before the start of the pandemic.

How much Iowa's unemployment paid year to year

Citing the trust fund's decline, the Iowa Association of Business and Industry unsuccessfully pushed a bill in the Legislature this year that would have cut unemployment insurance benefits.

Iowa Workforce Development has not yet announced whether employment tax rates will rise this year to refill the fund. The tax rate is based on a formula that takes into account the size of the trust fund.

Based on how much money most workers in the state earn, Iowa's unemployment payment is among the most generous in the country. The state's income replacement ratio in 2020 was 47%, the seventh-highest in the country, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. 

More:As COVID-19 pandemic continues, three-fourths of Iowans oppose moves to cut unemployment benefits

The replacement ratio measures how the average unemployment benefit compares to the average wage. For the United States overall, it was 38% in 2020.

The average unemployment benefit in Iowa was $351 last year, the 16th-highest in the country.

Tyler Jett covers jobs and the economy for the Des Moines Register. Reach him at [email protected], 515-284-8215, or on Twitter at @LetsJett.


Iowa Unemployment Insurance

The Federal-State Unemployment Insurance Program provides unemployment benefits to eligible workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own (as determined under Iowa law, and meet other eligibility requirements of Iowa law.

  • Unemployment insurance (UI) payments (benefits) are intended to provide temporary financial assistance to unemployed workers who meet the requirements of Iowa law.
  • Iowa administers a separate unemployment insurance program within guidelines established by Federal law.

The Federal-State Unemployment Insurance Program provides unemployment benefits to eligible workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own (as determined under Iowa law, and meet other eligibility requirements of Iowa law.

  • Unemployment insurance (UI) payments (benefits) are intended to provide temporary financial assistance to unemployed workers who meet the requirements of Iowa law.
  • Iowa administers a separate unemployment insurance program within guidelines established by Federal law.

Unemployment weekly iowa

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Unemployment Benefits Iowa ($900/Week or $18,000) How To Apply

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