Iowa

Apply and Receive Iowa Unemployment

With the bad economy from the late 2000s recession, families and individuals continue to struggle for financial security, especially if a person is unemployed. To receive unemployment in the state of Iowa, the person must meet certain requirements the state imposes. Most of these requirements are seen across the country for unemployment benefits. However, Iowa has some unique laws that influence the application process. Once they meet these requirements, they can begin receiving unemployment benefits.

The pre-requisites for receiving Iowa unemployment benefits include one basic rule: the person must have worked for an Iowan company for at least 18 months. Another procedural claim issue is that the person can only have one claim open at once. Constantly opening up a new claim ties up the system and will either end the person's claim or take the claim longer to be processed. One unique Iowa unemployment law concerns railroad workers. Iowa has a large funded railroad system and workers from this can apply for unemployment specifically though this state department. Another unique law is that all military personnel in Iowa must be a legal citizen of Iowa for a full 18 month period.

After these prerequisites are met, the citizen must fill out an unemployment application. This application must have a social security number, the contact information for the previous employer, and all dependents that are claimed on a tax form. A hard copy of a social security number as well as the previous year’s tax form may help speed up the process. If the citizen has a spouse, the spouse must be claimed as a dependent when the spouse only makes less than $120 a week.

The previous job held must have covered a full work week of wages over the span of 18 months. The job position held must have been closed on the worker, hence the person must not have lost the job through any fault of their own. The person must state that they will actively seek employment while on unemployment benefits.

Applications for unemployment can be filled out online at the IowaWorks website, or filled out at a local IowaWorks center, which are across the state. If unemployment is applied for online, the website will automatically tell the person if they qualify. If they do not qualify, they must go to their local IowaWorks center to seek further help or clarification. The processing time for an application done in person is usually less than a week. Someone will contact the person if they are eligible and they will begin to receive all unemployment benefits from the day they applied.


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Iowa