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Iowa Unemployment Benefit Questions

Iowa Unemployment Benefits

How do I apply for unemployment benefits in Iowa?

To apply for unemployment benefits in Iowa, go to the Iowa Workforce Development website and complete the online application. You’ll need your Social Security Number, employment history, and other personal information. Learn more.

What are the qualifications for receiving unemployment benefits?

To qualify for Iowa unemployment, you must be out of work through no fault of your own, be willing to work, and meet certain financial requirements. The financial criteria are usually based on your income during a set time period before you lost your job. Learn more.

How much will I get in unemployment benefits?

The amount varies based on your previous earnings. The maximum anyone in Iowa can receive is $714 a week (with 4 eligible dependents). You can use the Iowa unemployment calculator to estimate your weekly benefit amount.

Can I extend my unemployment benefits?

Yes, under certain conditions like high state unemployment rates or federal extensions. However, unemployment extensions are not always in effect. Learn more.

What are the work search requirements?

According to Iowa state law, you must perform 4 work search activities each week, and document your job contacts, where you applied for jobs, and other activities that help you find a job. Learn more.

How do I get my unemployment payment?

Payments can be received through direct deposit or a prepaid debit card. You have to file weekly claims to continue receiving payments.

How can I contact Iowa Workforce Development?

You can contact Iowa Workforce Development by phone or by visiting a local IowaWorks Center near you. View Iowa UI phone numbers and office locations.

What is unemployment fraud?

Iowa unemployment fraud is when a claimant makes false statements or fails to disclose information in order to receive UI benefits. This is illegal and penalties include fines and potential jail time.

What should I do if my benefits are denied?

If your benefits are denied, you have the right to file an appeal. Follow the instructions on the denial letter to submit your appeal, usually within 10 days of receiving the letter. Learn more about appeals.

Do I have to pay taxes on my unemployment benefits?

Yes, Iowa unemployment benefits are considered taxable income. In Iowa, you are responsible for paying both federal and state taxes. You can choose to have taxes withheld from your benefits to avoid a large tax bill later.

  1. Can you work a part time job while collecting unemployment? The unemployment isn’t enough to cover my payments i have per month. I want to know if I pick up a part time job while job hunting if i can still receive unemployment.

    • Hi, Alex – you should definitely reach out directly to the Iowa unemployment office to discuss the specifics of your situation, but in many cases you may be able to collect unemployment benefits while also working part-time. In those cases, your weekly benefit amount may be reduced, depending on how much money you earn through your part-time job. You’ll be required to report these earnings as part of your weekly certification.

  2. Can’t find a straightforward answer to this. Laid off due to budget cuts, but getting severance pay for 12 weeks. Do I qualify for unemployment benefits in Iowa during that time?

    • Eric, if you are unemployed due to a layoff situation, you should go ahead and apply for unemployment benefits immediately. Your benefits pay may be adjusted or suspended during the time you receive severance pay, depending on the rate of pay and how it compares to the limits of the weekly benefit amount. But filing as soon as possible can make sure your unemployment insurance benefits are ready to kick in once your severance pay is exhausted.

      • So apparently I started getting unemployment benefits while also getting severance pay at the same time. I didn’t think this was possible. How does this work?

        • Hi, Eric – it is possible in some cases to collect unemployment benefits while also receiving severance pay. However, you’ll need to report the amount of severance pay you are receiving, and in some cases, your weekly benefit amount may be reduced to offset your severance. When you file your weekly claim, you should be prompted to enter any severance you’ve received for that week.

  3. I’m getting laid off in June and applying for a school job that starts in August. Can I still file for unemployment till I start the school job? And will I still be required to submit applications to be eligible for UI?

    • Dear Marie,

      Yes, you can apply, but keep in mind your situation might not lead to benefits. It doesn’t hurt to apply although wait times can be long (this is highly dependent on the state; Iowa is doing better than most states. Every state is a bit different, however, when it comes to eligibility for contract workers, so it is worth calling or visiting your Iowa office. Here is a link that will help you get started:



  4. If I am laid off due to my position being eliminated do I have to take another position that I am physically unable to do ? or else Lose all my benefits

    • Linda,

      Please note UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose employment due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office for more.

  5. I did not know that I hadn’t filed a claim in a year. I called in last nite to file my claim and it said I was now eligible to file a claim for the week of 5-6 and can enter my claim on 5-12. I didn’t need it for this week, I needed it for last week. And the lady at the local Workforce Development said, “Sorry but we can’t back date!”, wait, what??

    • My name is Clifton Massey and I am wondering why my employment benifets got stopped I am still out of work taking care of my old 60 year old mother and a 80 year old grandmother I really need this help

      • Clifton,

        Please try finding answers online since there might be limited phone support. You will have to log in with a user name and a password.

  6. If employer is requiring signature of a new (reduced) wage agreement to continue employment, and I refuse to sign to accept a lower wage so they cease my employment, am I eligible for unemployment? I wouldn’t think that is ‘fault of my own’ since they are breaking our initial contracted rate.

  7. At this time I’m receiving unemployment from Iowa, but I am getting social security starting feb.2018. Can I receive both at the same time

  8. are our deposits on the debit card delayed? mine should have been there today but its not and the website is down

    • Jessie,

      If you did not receive the claim payment on time, please call the Claims Center for an update.

  9. I’m a cook at a public highschool. At the end of the school year on June 2nd I will sign a contract to return to work the following august 23. Can I collect unemployment during the summer months? In the state of Iowa? Is there any chance I will have to pay it back at tax time? Does it matter what county I’m in? Will I face repercussion if I do so like not offering me a contract the following year.

    • Seasonal jobs are generally not eligible.

      I suggest that you call the Unemployment Office in your state to get answers to all your questions.

  10. I received my benefits letter but it does not state when payments start and how often they will be. Is there somewhere I can find this information?
    Also I looked at the online weekly reporting to see if I need to input any information to get unemployment and “There is a Reporting Break on your claim” came up. What does this mean?

    • I suggest that you visit the official website of the Unemployment Office in your state and read the relevant web pages/FAQ section to get a complete understanding of the process. You’re required to file weekly claims to receive payment until you find employment.

  11. I am 54 year old retired Military veteran. I have worked at my current job for about 14 years. Will the money I get from that retirement effect getting unemployment?

  12. Once I have my bank account set up for my unemployment benefits. Am I locked to that account or is there anyway I can switch it to my other account at a different bank?

  13. Hi i was wondering if i culd take mu unplyment in one lump sum in stead of payments with christmas comming up wuld like to have some extra moneu

  14. Hello I have a question a recently went through a week of training for a full time job I was falsely told what my wages would be I calculated what I would be making and subtracted the gas it would take me to get there and it was less then my unemployment so I left, I have not recieved any pay yet, so I haven’t stopped claiming, if I report what I made will that let my past employer protest the original benefits awarded to me if it was already protested before and I won?

    • As long as it’s not an intentional error, it should be fine.

      I suggest that you call the Claims Center immediately and let them know.

  15. If I quit a job due to medical accommodations, have attempted to work with the employer to find relocation, have found full time work but at a considerable less rate of pay can I receive benefits?

    • Unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for further information.

  16. I currently receive unemployment and am thinking about going to college again full time. Does this disqualify me from receiving benefits?

    • It may disqualify your claim.

      Please speak to the Claims Center over the phone to ascertain the exact impact.

  17. My position is being eliminated in 2 months. If I take other part-time employment NOW, how might that impact benefits when I am potentially eligible in July? Is there any detriment to benefits if I work P-T for 2 months and then quit the P-T job concurrent to losing my real job?

    • You can qualify with the part time job. With regard to the second half of your question, we’re not really sure. Perhaps, you can call the Unemployment Office in your state for further information.

  18. Recently an employee quit his job, they did not replace the employee. They went to the employee’s supervisor who is a manager and told him he had to be responsible for the duties for the person who quit as well as his duties as a manager. The stress of doing both is very stressful. If the manager quit would he be eligible for unemployment.

    • If the person quits due to hostile work environment, he/she can qualify for UI benefits. Not sure if the same logic can be applied to stress on the job.

      Please call the claims center/customer service of the labor dept. in your state for further information.

  19. I will be 66 years of age a few months from now. If I am laid off from my current job and collecting social security 2 months from now, will I be able to continue collecting unemployment? If called back to work say 5 or 6 months from now I will probably go back to work.

    • Some states allow provision of both while some don’t. You will only receive benefits if actively looking for job.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for further information.

  20. If I am currently receiving weekly unemployment benefits and started a job last week but do not get paid until the next pay period which is two weeks it will be one month before I get a check as its two weeks behind . Do I file my weekly claim as worked but no pay?

  21. If i am laid off or fired from my 42 hour week job but still work a 14 hour part time job (worked both jobs for years) will my unemployment check be less since I work a part time job?

  22. I have started a new job, but only worked thur.fri of this week and wont be paid until 10/2. Do I still file unemployment or what do I need to do?

  23. If I apply for unemployment and claim is justified, will I still be eligible for benefits even though I am drawing a pension. I retired and started drawing a pension 6 years ago, I worked part time since I retired, I just lost my job.

  24. If a person was laid off from a job after 10 years. Took a less paying job right away and never filed unemployment. 30 days later doesn’t feel safe at new job and hates it. If they quit can they still go back and file unemployment on previous employer? Thanks!

    • Please call the labor authorities in your state for further information in this regard.

      Not sure if you will be eligible for quitting voluntarily, but you can draw if the work conditions are hostile.

  25. how do I reactivate my unemployment? It hasn’t been 365 days yet but need to activate my account from last year

    • Please call the claims center of the labor dept in your state for further instructions.

      The phone numbers are available on the official website.

  26. if someone works part time and it is made clear when they are hired that they are not guaranteed any number of hours and that it is a work as needed position (basically working for maybe a total of any where from 10 – 40 hours per month). can they draw unemployment?

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