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How much unemployment can you receive and for how long?

Here are answers to common questions about Iowa's system

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Here are some frequently asked questions for jobless workers filing for unemployment insurance claims, as well as programs available for employers, in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.

For more information, and to file a claim online, visit IowaWorkforceDevelopment.gov. You may also call 1-866-239-0843, but wait times are much longer than usual.

Q: Who qualifies for unemployment insurance claims in Iowa?

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A: If you are laid off due to COVID-19 or have to stay home to self-isolate, care for family members or due to illness related to COVID-19, you can receive unemployment benefits provided you meet all other eligibility requirements. Those requirements essentially include working for wages from an employer who claims you as an employee in six of the last 18 months and have earned at least $2,500 in the same time period. More specific explanation of benefit eligibility can be found at: iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/2019-unemployment-insurance-claimant-handbook

Q: How quickly will approved applicants get paid?

A: Claimants can expect to receive payment within seven to 10 days after the claim is filed.

Q: What is the maximum weekly benefit and how long is it available?

A: The maximum amount of state unemployment benefits will vary based on how many dependents a claimant has. For a claimant with four dependents, the maximum is $591 per week. For a claimant with no dependents, the maximum weekly benefit amount is $481. Action in Congress may supplement this with additional federal benefits. The maximum number of weeks a claimant is eligible is 26 weeks. If a claimant is working part-time and reporting wages, this number of weeks is extended due to only receiving a partial payment each week.

Q: How do COVID-19 changes affect employers?

A: Claims that are filed and identified as a direct or indirect result of COVID-19 will not be charged to employers. Fact-finding interviews for these claims will be waived and not be held, although employers will be notified of claims received. Iowa Workforce Development will process unemployment insurance payments to ensure payment will continue to be paid in a timely manner.

Source: Iowa Workforce Development

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