Max. Weekly Benefit Amount
Max. Weeks of Benefits
Current Jobless Rate
Max Weekly Benefit Amount
Max Weeks of benefits
Current Jobless rate

Updated : August 11th, 2021

Iowa Unemployment Benefits

The unemployed people in Iowa can receive Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits, provided they have lost their job through no fault of their own. The UI program is handled by Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) and is funded by employers through payroll taxes.

Eligibility To Apply For UI Benefits In Iowa

An applicant must meet several eligibility criteria to be eligible for unemployment benefits in Iowa. They include:

Monetary Eligibility

To monetarily qualify for unemployment benefits in Iowa, an applicant must:

  • Have been paid wages by covered employers in at least two-quarters of his or her base period
  • Have wages of at least $1,700 in one quarter and at least $850 in another quarter
  • Have total base period wages of at least 1.25 times the wages earned in the highest quarter of his or her base period

Find out more about eligibility requirements

Job Separation

The applicant must have lost his or her job through no fault of his or her. The applicant will be disqualified from receiving benefits if he or she lost the job due to any of the following reasons:

  • The applicant was fired from the job for misconduct
  • The applicant was fired from the job for failing a drug test
  • The applicant voluntarily quit a job for reasons that are not considered as good-cause
  • The applicant was fired for violating organizational policies
  • The applicant was fired for having criminal charges against him or her

Eligibility requirements – overview

Maintaining Eligibility

The applicant should maintain his or her eligibility as long as he or she wants to receive the Iowa unemployment benefits. The eligibility can be maintained by following the below-listed points:

  • The applicant must be able and available for work
  • The applicant must accept a suitable job offer
  • The applicant must document work search activities
  • The applicant must verify his or her identity online
  • The applicant must actively seek employment (work search may be waived if certain criteria are met)
  • The applicant must be registered for work online or at IowaWORKS center unless he or she has registered for work with and have created an Employer Searchable resume

Find out on job search requirements

How To Apply For UI Benefits In Iowa?

To receive UI benefits in Iowa, the applicant must submit the following documents:


It is the fastest and safest method to apply for benefits. Applicants can file for Iowa Unemployment Insurance online by visiting the Workforce Development website.

Visit Local Center

Alternatively, the applicant can visit the local IowaWORKS Center and apply for benefits.

How To File Weekly Claims

After filing the initial claim, the applicant must file a weekly claim to receive benefits. The weekly claim can be filed online at 8:00 a.m. Sunday through 5:30 p.m. The applicant can call UI Customer Service at 1-866-239-0843 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. if he or she needs assistance with the weekly certification.

Learn how to claim weekly benefits

UI Benefits Amount

The Maximum Benefit Amount (MBA) in Iowa is either 26 times the Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA) or one-third of the applicant’s total base period wages, whichever is less. The WBA is determined by the wages earned in the highest base period quarter and the number of dependents. The WBA is calculated by dividing the wages in the highest quarter by:

  • 19 for four dependents (maximum of $605)
  • 20 for three dependents (maximum of $559)
  • 21 for two dependents (maximum of $531)
  • 22 for one dependent (maximum of $512)
  • 23 for zero dependents (maximum of $493)

Benefits Calculator

The benefits calculator can be used to determine the estimated weekly unemployment benefit amount.

Unemployment Benefits Calculator
Select Number of Dependents:
0 12 3 4 5
Unemployment Benefits Calculator
State: Iowa
Number of Dependents: 0

How much did you earn in each of these quarters?

$ 0
$ 25,000
$ 0
$ 25,000
$ 0
$ 25,000
$ 0
$ 25,000
Calculating your Benefits Amount ...
Disclaimer: The estimates are good in faith and accuracy is not guaranteed. We are not liable for any loss and damages caused by using the tools on our website. This calculator is here to assist you in evaluating what you might obtain if you are entitled to receive benefits. We make no promises that the sum you receive will be equal to what the calculator illustrates.

Know more about the Benefits Calculator

Things To Know After Filing An Application

A claimant must know a few aspects after filing for Unemployment Insurance in Iowa.


At times, a claimant may receive an overpayment of Unemployment Insurance benefits. In Iowa, the overpayment may occur due to various reasons, including:

  • The claimant failed to notify IWD that he or she does not meet the eligibility criteria
  • IWD reversed the previous UI benefits decision
  • The claimant’s weekly benefit amount changed because the wage information was incorrect when he or she filed a claim initially
  • The claimant failed to report earnings and hours accurately worked
  • The claimant failed to disclose the wages, vacation pay, severance pay received

Claimants are responsible for repaying overpaid benefits, regardless of fault. The amount can be repaid online or via check, money order, cashier check to the following address:
Iowa Workforce Development
UI Collections
1000 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50319

Overpayment Through Fraud

If a claimant deliberately provides false statements to receive a benefit amount more than he or she is entitled to, IWD will consider it as an overpayment through fraudulent practice. If found guilty, the claimant will have to pay a 15% penalty and will be disqualified from receiving benefits.

Benefits Extension

Normally, IWD offers benefits for a maximum of 26 weeks. But if the state’s unemployment is too high, it may provide benefits for additional weeks. Visit IWD to know more about the extended benefits.

Job Training Assistance

The Iowa workforce development system is multifaceted and includes private and public training providers that work with individuals regardless of their ages and abilities. The programs help job seekers to enter or re-enter the labor market. Some of the programs offered by the Iowa Workforce Development are:

  • Ticket to Work
  • Promise Jobs
  • IowaWORKS
  • Ticket to Work
  • Home Base Iowa
  • Ex-Offender Initiative
  • Federal Bond Program
  • Employment and Disability
  • Trade Act Assistance
  • Work Opportunity Tax Credit
  • Services for Youth and Young Adults
  • Veterans Employment Services
  • Adult and Dislocated Workers
  • Registered Apprenticeship
  • Migrant and Seasonal Farm Worker

Know more job training opportunities in IA

Iowa Phone Numbers

Find the below-listed phone numbers of unemployment offices in Iowa:

Iowa Unemployment Office Numbers

Claims center 866-239-0843
Unemployment appeals interstate 800-247-5205
Unemployment appeals - 800-532-1483
Unemployment fraud hotline - email 866-239-0843

Locate your nearest unemployment office

Frequently Asked Question

Q. When should I file for benefits?
File an initial claim the same week you are unemployed or working reduced hours. However,note that your claim does not begin on the date you became unemployed or your hours were reduced but will be effective the Sunday of the week you apply.
Q. Can I file a claim if I live outside Iowa?
Yes you can, provided you have earnings in the last 18 months in Iowa. If you have worked in multiple states, including Iowa, in the last 18 months, you can include those states on your unemployment application. In addition, you must register with the nearest American Job Center.
Q. How will I receive my payments?
When you file a new claim you will have the option to choose direct deposit or a debit card to receive payments. Note that if you have a debit card, you must continue to use it until it expires. If not, you can choose direct deposit and have your payments deposited directly into your checking or savings account.

Questions & Answers

  1. I live in Iowa, work in Illinois. Involuntarily furloughed from company based in Illinois. Where do I file for UI?

  2. If I quit my job for more money can I draw off that company until my new employer has paid I’m enough for me to draw off of them

    • Richard,

      You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  3. If I was injured on my last job and released from Dr. to go back to work but previous employer won’t give me work is this considered temporary layoff? and am I able to collect unemployment insurance if I’m collecting Workers Comp ins too?

    • Paula,

      I am not sure of your eligibility. Please call the Unemployment Office in your state and apply accordingly.

  4. I was recently fired in my current position–which I was working part time due to partial disability. Can I file unemployment even if recently disability?

    • Brent,

      If you became partially or fully unemployed due to the disability, you may not qualify. Please call the Unemployment Office for instructions.

      Hope you get well soon!

  5. If I live in Iowa, but my parent company was in Illinois, but after merger, it went to Texas. My job was eliminated, what state do I file for unemployment?

    • Please file from the states where your employment was based.

      You may want to check with your employer before making an application.

  6. I am being let go of my part time job. Can I get unemployment? My company merged with another and they don’t need/want me.

    • As long as it’s involuntary and you have got the required numbers of hours, you can be eligible.

      Please speak to the Unemployment Office in your state and apply accordingly.

  7. My unemployment fund was exhausted. Is it there something like an extension? If yes, then how to apply for it?

    • The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  8. What happens if I get a job after filing unemployment what steps should I take. The interview is set up to see if im ellagable

    • During the interview, they will advise on the process further.
      Once approved, you will be required to file weekly claims over the phone or online to get the required payments.

  9. Is there any type of filing,(taxes),to be done if I reside in the State of Wisconsin, and in 2015 I received 2-3 weeks of unemployment compensation from a previous employer in Iowa?

    • You are supposed to receive Form 1099-G from the Unemployment Office in your state to help you with taxes.

      Please call them if you haven’t received one.

  10. Leaving active duty army, but I’m interested in joining the national guard and I’m curious if I can collect unemployment if I’m in the national guard?

    • If you are going to be employed and draw wages, you will not qualify. UI benefits re only extended to unemployed persons.

  11. do I have to declare money my parents send me to help after I was let go by my employer? Will they set up an appointment with my employer to see if I am getting rehired? Do they even call your employer to see why you were laid off or send them a letter asking to explain?

    • I don’t think you must be declaring money your parents send since it does not really qualify to be called an income which is earned.

      They will contact your employer to ascertain reasons for leaving and to find out other related details.

  12. I have a job I have been working at for 10 years and they recently hired someone to take my place and try to force me in a spot that I did not apply for. So they gave me a choice do that or quit so I wanted to know could I get unemployment if I did quit since they are forcing it

  13. I need to file for EUC, my regular benefits have run out, please help me get the extension filed, I dont have a current job and no other income coming in at this time.

    • When my regular benefits ran out, I was notified via mail whether or not I was eligible for EUC benefits. I was, and the benefits automatically rolled over. Keep filing your regular weekly claim, and if you are eligible for EUC benefits, you will know because you will continue to get a check each week. I live in Iowa also so the rules should be the same.

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