Iowa Unemployment Benefit Questions

What happens if I move out of Iowa?

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 interstate line 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.

How much can I make before it will affect my Unemployment Insurance?

If your gross earnings equal or exceed your weekly benefit amount plus $15.00, no unemployment payment will be made for the week. You must report your gross earnings. You can earn up to 25% of your weekly benefit amount before any deduction is made from your unemployment payment. Any earnings over 25% will be deducted dollar for dollar. This means you will be able to draw benefits over a longer period of time if you remain eligible.

Do I have to report my vacation pay/severance pay?

Severance pay is fully deductible from Unemployment Insurance benefits and must be reported week for week. Vacation pay has separate rules. You should report all vacation pay during the first week; however, the information from the employer in excess of one week will be used. Vacation pay is 100% deductible for one or more weeks. The number of weeks affected is determined by information we receive from the employer. Holiday pay is deductible as wages in the week in which the holiday falls.

If I get a job, how does that affect my Unemployment Insurance?

If you start a full-time job, you should stop calling in your weekly claim to discontinue claiming benefits. If you have started working part-time, you may continue to claim benefits as long as you continue to be able and available for work. Make and report your work search and report your gross wages as earned so that the wages will be correctly deducted from your weekly benefit amount. To determine your gross wages earned, multiply the number of hours worked for the week by your hourly rate of pay.

Working part-time will extend the time you may draw benefits, but the maximum benefit amount will not change. You must report all gross wages when earned, not when paid. While working part-time, if you were initially required to make a search for employment, then you must continue to look for work and be able and available to accept work if offered to you. If your gross wages equal or exceed your weekly benefit amount plus $15, you will not receive an unemployment insurance payment for that week. If this happens for four weeks in a row, you will need to reapply if your part-time earnings are reduced once more.

More Questions?? —-> Read Benefit Q & A Section

  1. 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

    1. Linda,

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

  2. 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??

    1. 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

      1. 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.

  3. 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.

    1. Lori,

      I am not really sure about this. I suggest you call the Unemployment Office to confirm and make a decision accordingly.

  4. 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

    1. Marsha,

      Receiving SS benefits will affect UI benefits. Please report it to the Unemployment Office by calling them.

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

    1. Jessie,

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

  6. 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.

    1. Seasonal jobs are generally not eligible.

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

  7. 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?

    1. 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.

  8. 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?

  9. 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?

  10. 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

  11. 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?

    1. 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.

  12. 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?

    1. 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.

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

    1. It may disqualify your claim.

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

  14. 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?

    1. 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.

  15. 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.

    1. 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.

  16. 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.

    1. 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.

  17. 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?

  18. 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?

  19. 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?

  20. 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.

  21. 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!

    1. 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.

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

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

      The phone numbers are available on the official website.

  23. 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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