What are the requirements to get unemployment benefits in Iowa? Iowa provides its unemployed residents with unemployment benefits as a way to assist them financially while they seek out new forms of employment. Understanding who qualifies for unemployment comes down to looking at a variety of factors and state requirements.
If an applicant was terminated for reasons beyond their control, then he or she may hold eligibility for EDD. However, it is equally important to understand how to maintain unemployment eligibility as it is to know how to qualify for unemployment in the first place. Once you have qualified for unemployment, there are a series of actions that must be taken to continue to receive unemployment benefits.
We have compiled helpful information, hints, and tips about qualifying for unemployment benefits in Iowa on this website and FAQs and our free guide. Read more below to learn about who can qualify for unemployment in Iowa.
Who Qualifies for Unemployment Benefits in Iowa
The qualifications for unemployment in Iowa are created to ensure that unemployment benefits are given to the right people. For this reason, both the current capabilities of the unemployed worker and their reason for termination are closely examined to determine whether or not the unemployed worker will be approved to receive unemployment benefits. In order to qualify for unemployment, applicants must:
- Have worked and earned a minimum amount of wages at a job that was covered by unemployment insurance in the last 15 to 18 months
- Have lost their job through no fault of their own
- Be totally or partially unemployed
- Be able and available to take on full-time or part-time work.
- Be actively seeking work and keeping evidence of job searches by noting the name, contact information and address of all jobs applied to.
- Be registered for work at their local IowaWORKS center or online.
The state of Iowa does allow some exceptions to these requirements. If the applicant has a temporary disability or injury that does not allow him or her to work for a short period of time, has moved because of domestic violence, or is providing full-time care to a sick or disabled family member, he or she may still hold eligibility for EDD.
Cases in which an applicant may not be excused from these requirements include being incarcerated or currently facing legal restrictions that may prevent the applicant from seeking full-time work. If the applicant has attained part-time work since being terminated from his or her job, the applicant may still be eligible to receive part-time benefits.
Once an applicant has been approved to collect unemployment insurance, he or she is required to maintain eligibility for unemployment, as well as follow any required actions, such as filing biweekly claims, regularly applying for jobs and engaging in any job-placement programs that are assigned to the applicant.
An applicant’s continued job search may be reviewed, so it is important to keep a record of the date of contact, name of employer contacted and method of contact for each job search. If an applicant is offered a suitable job position, he or she must accept the offer and discontinue receiving unemployment benefits. In the state of Iowa, a suitable position is any job that matches the experience or training of the applicant and meets realistic wage expectations for the position.
Iowa has specific requirements regarding who qualifies for unemployment, and those requirements are typically based on the applicant’s reason for termination. Individuals who were terminated at no fault of their own typically qualify for unemployment insurance eligibility.
Understanding the Requirements for Unemployment
Applicants who qualify for unemployment in Iowa must have become unemployed at no fault of their own. Suitable reasons for unemployment may include:
- Being terminated as a direct result of reduction-in-force (RIF) or downsizing in the workplace
- Being fired due to a lack of necessary skills or abilities to adequately perform the assigned role.
- Voluntarily quitting due to an unavoidable reason such as:
- Sexual harassment.
- Dangerous working conditions.
- A personal disability or illness that prevents you from performing your job.
- Having wages illegally withheld.
Reasons that may disqualify an applicant from receiving unemployment in Iowa include:
- Continued misconduct in the workplace
- Willful disregard for the needs of your employers
- Intentionally breaking office rules and standards
- Being unable to perform work duties due to the use of drugs or alcohol
- Theft (exceeding a value of $25) or abuse of company property.
If for some reason you are denied unemployment benefits, your benefits may be temporarily delayed rather than denied altogether. For example, voluntarily quitting your job may simply reduce the number of weeks you receive unemployment benefits rather than exclude you from receiving them altogether.
Keep in mind that, in the state of Iowa, proving the reason of termination is solely the responsibility of the employer, who will be contacted once you have submitted your unemployment claim. Your employer will then be able to submit a testimony in person or submit a written testimony as to why you were terminated from your job.
It is strongly advised that you are 100% honest regarding all documents and statements made while filing for unemployment. Direct lies or omission of important facts jeopardize your eligibility for unemployment, and you also risk being accused of committing fraud.
Note: You are fully responsible for reading all unemployment insurance mail and following any directions that are provided. Those who qualify for unemployment must continue to file biweekly claims or risk having their unemployment insurance benefits denied.
Last Updated: February 28, 2023