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Iowans already receiving federal unemployment benefits will not see gap in payments, IWD says

New, continuing claims increase for second consecutive week

Iowa Workforce Development logo
Iowa Workforce Development logo

Unemployed Iowans already receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation will not have an interruption in payments following the federal stimulus bill signed Dec. 27, Iowa Workforce Development said Thursday.

IWD initially anticipated a payment gap lasting “an unknown period of time.”

But it still is waiting for federal guidance before it can issue PUA or PEUC benefits to new applicants.

IWD also cannot issue payments from Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation — the additional $300 per week in unemployment benefits — until it receives federal direction.

“IWD anticipates the guidance will be issued within the next two weeks,” the agency said in a news release. “We will have limited resources available to answer customer service calls over the holiday season.”

The wait comes as Iowa saw increases in new and continuing unemployment claims the week of Dec. 20.

New claims rose from 7,271 to 7,644. Continuing claims jumped from 37,492 to 38,296.

About 70.6 percent of those claims were not related to coronavirus, IWD said.

Construction was the largest source of claims with 1,884, followed by manufacturing with 1,312, and self-employed and independent contractors with 736.

The claims resulted in $10.7 million in standard unemployment benefits, $6.8 million in PEUC and $4 million in PUA.

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Iowans also received $748,200 in retroactive FPUC payments. FPUC expired at the end of July before being reintroduced in the latest stimulus bill.

These numbers are preliminary and are yet to be adjusted by the U.S. Department of Labor.

They also only show how many people are actively seeking work and therefore do not necessarily give a complete picture of how many people are out of work.

Comments: (319) 398-8394; john.steppe@thegazette.com

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