Do I qualify for unemployment benefits?
- You are totally or partially unemployed.
- You have worked and earned a minimum amount of wages in work covered by unemployment tax during the past 18 months.
- You have lost your job through no fault of your own.
- You are able and available for work.
- You are registered for work at your local Workforce Development Center, unless work search is waived. You can register for work on-line by using the Employment Registration Services application.
- You are actively seeking work unless work search is waived.
How do I file for unemployment benefits?
What will you need to file your application? You need the following:
- Your Social Security number;
- The name, payroll address and telephone number of your most recent employer;
- The first and last date you worked for that employer;
- An Alien Registration number if you are NOT a U.S. citizen or permanent refugee;
- If you served on active duty in the U.S. military during the past 18 months, a DD214 (member copy 4);
- If you worked for the federal government in the past 18 months, a Standard Form 8, if one was provided to you;
- The names of any dependents that you claim as exemptions on your federal income tax return;
You may claim your spouse as a dependent if her/his gross wages were $120 or less in the week prior to filing your claim. Self-employment does not count as gross wages for dependent purposes.
File an Unemployment Benefit Claim Online
The fastest, most efficient way to apply for benefits (file your initial claim) is online. The Internet filing option is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week — it’s always open!
To be able to file a claim online you must meet all of the following criteria:
- You must have worked in Iowa during the past 18 months (earned Iowa wages;
- You must not have an existing unemployment claim in any other state with money (benefits) still available;
- You must not have an existing Railroad Unemployment claim with any remaining money available;
- If you served in the U.S. military during the past 18 months, you MUST have an Iowa residence;
- If you have earned wages in more than one state in the past 18 months and you want those wages added to your claim, you must live in Iowa.
If you do not meet the criteria to file on-line, you should contact a local Workforce Development Center for additional assistance in filing your unemployment claim.
The first step in filing your new, initial claim on-line is to create an account. Before you begin, we suggest you review the frequently asked questions (FAQS) about filing on-line.
If you already have an account with iowaworkforce.org, just log in. Otherwise, begin by setting up your account and then log in to begin entering your unemployment claim.
2. File an Unemployment Benefit Claim at a Workforce Development Center
You may file your initial claim for benefits at your Workforce Development Center. Many Workforce Development Centers hold regularly scheduled group claim sessions and will help you complete the forms. Or, you can use a computer in the Workforce Development Resource Center to file your application on-line.
3. File an Unemployment Benefit Claim Through Your Employer
Iowa Workforce Development has a program that allows employers to file an initial claim for a recently separated employee. Check with your employer to determine if they are participating in this new program.
Unemployment Office Contact Information
Iowa Unemployment Website: http://www.iowaworkforce.org/ui/index.html
Iowa Workforce Development
1000 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0209
Telephone: (515) 281-5387 or (800) JOB-IOWA
For Deaf and Hard Of Hearing, Use Relay 711
For unemployment insurance claim questions, contact: UIClaimsHelp@iwd.iowa.gov
For general questions, contact: IWD.CustomerService@iwd.iowa.gov