Iowa Unemployment Application Information

Unemployment Registration in Iowa

If you are a resident in Iowa wondering, “How can I sign up for unemployment?” you should know that there is more than one option available to you. To apply for unemployment benefits in Iowa, residents can file an online application for unemployment. By choosing to file for unemployment online, you will simplify the process and create a convenient way to later file your biweekly claims. A second option in regards to where to sign up for unemployment is to call the Iowa unemployment department and register for unemployment benefits over the phone.

To learn more about how to file for an unemployment claim, review the following sections:

•    When is the best time to file for unemployment?
•    What documents do I need to file for unemployment?
•    Where to register for unemployment benefits?
•    How to apply for unemployment online or over the phone?

  • Be able to work and available for work.
  • Be actively seeking work.
  • Be registered for work unless waived.
  • Keep a record of your work search.
  • Report if you quit or are fired from any job while claiming benefits.
  • Notify Iowa Workforce Development if for any reason you move or leave the area for more than three working days.
  • Report all earnings before deductions when earned, not when paid.
  • Report any vacation, severance or holiday pay.
  • Notify Iowa Workforce Development if you are currently enrolled or start school.
  • Notify Iowa Workforce Development if you are receiving a private pension or workers’ compensation.

Provide the following information:

  • Your Social Security number.
  • The name, address and telephone number of your most recent employer.
  • The beginning and ending dates you worked for your last employer.
  • Your Alien registration number, if not a U.S. citizen.
  • Name(s) of anyone you will be claiming as a dependent.
  • The amount your spouse earned in the preceding week, if you want to claim your spouse as a dependent.
  • A DD-214 Member 4, if U.S. military during the last 18 months.
  • A SF-8 form, if you worked for the federal government in the last 18 months.

Filling a Claim

You can apply for UI benefits online, visit:

If you don’t have access to a computer, visit an IowaWORKS Center near you. For locations, check the directory at:

You can also visit an Access Point to apply for UI benefits. Access Points have a Virtual Desktop with a Virtual Desktop Guide to help you with the application process. To find a Virtual Iowa Works Access Point near you, visit:

*If your employer is participating in employer-filed claims, your employer may file your application on your behalf.

After you file your claim, you will receive a form called: Monetary Record.

The form will show:

  • The beginning date of your claim.
  • Your four-quarter base period.
  • The gross wages paid to you in the base period by each employer that is covered by UI.
  • Your weekly benefit amount (WBA).
  • Your maximum benefit amount (MBA).

If any of the information on the form is incorrect, contact the Iowa Workforce Development at 866-239-0843.

Reactivating a Claim

Reactivating an existing claim can be done online, at:

If you only worked for one employer during the past six months, you may reactivate an existing claim over the phone using the UI Service Center’s Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. Call 866-239-0843.

You must reactivate your claim during the week you want to claim not after the week is over.


You can receive UI benefit payments on a pre-paid debit card or through direct-deposit. You will be paid on the card, unless you have selected the direct-deposit method.

To make your selection, access the form online on the online Iowa Workforce Development handbook (page 25) here.

You can also visit your local IowaWORKS Center. For locations, check the directory at:

What You Should Know

  • Your claim will be made effective the Sunday of the week in which your application was filed.
  • You must report your continued claim each week to certify your eligibility.
  • You may file for weeks you are unemployed within the benefit year until you have received your maximum benefit amount (MBA).
  • You must have earned and have been paid wages by employers covered by UI in two or more quarters of your base period.
  • You must have total base-period earnings of at least 1.25 times the wages you earned in your highest base-period quarter.
  • You must have a minimum amount of wages in the high and low quarters of your base period. For program year 7/01/2013-6/30/2014, you need a High-Quarter Minimum of $1,400 and a Low-Quarter Minimum of $700.
  • You should receive your first payment in about three weeks after you first apply for benefits.


If you have any questions, call 866-239-0843. is a privately owned website that is not owned or operated by any government agency.