Government

Iowa officials: Apply for unemployment benefits online, not in person

Employment kiosks set up in the North Liberty library in August 2011 promote IowaWORKS. Iowa Workforce Development, whic
Employment kiosks set up in the North Liberty library in August 2011 promote IowaWORKS. Iowa Workforce Development, which runs the IowaWORKS centers, is encouraging employees affected by COVID-19 closures to apply for unemployment benefits online. (Gazette archives)

Iowa Workforce Development “strongly” has encouraged employees affected by COVID-19 business closures to apply for unemployment insurance benefits online.

Filing the unemployment claims online, at the state agency’s website, rather than at one of its local IowaWORKS centers, complies with recommended guidelines regarding reducing large gatherings, officials said Tuesday.

Customers without online access also can call the state’s unemployment insurance customer service line, at 1-866-239-0843, so staff can file claims over the phone.

Iowa Workforce Development on Monday announced that state employers will not be charged for unemployment insurance claims identified as a direct or indirect result of the coronavirus — if an employee has become ill, was laid off, must self-isolate or care for family members — so long as they meet existing eligibility requirements.

Comments: (319) 398-8366; thomas.friestad@thegazette.com

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