In Iowa, and throughout the country, the average time an individual can receive weekly unemployment benefits is 26 weeks. In some cases however, 26 weeks is not enough time to establish new employment, and unemployed individuals may find themselves asking “what can I do to extend unemployment?”]
If you have yet to find a suitable form of employment or have suffered from an injury, disease, or family crisis that has prevented you from taking on full time employment, you may need to file for an unemployment compensation extension. In many cases, the claimant’s benefits will automatically qualify for an unemployment extension after the initial 26 weeks are over.
Still, there are some cases that require filing a separate application for a federal unemployment extension.
Iowa Unemployment Resources
Types of Unemployment Benefit Extension Programs
Unemployment benefit extension programs in Iowa fall into two categories. The first category is called the Extended Benefits program, which is created to add an extra benefits period following your original benefit period. Extended Benefits programs typically become available during times when the nation is experiencing high levels of unemployment.
If there is currently no unemployment compensation extension available, one may become available in the near future depending on the current economic climate. In order to be eligible to receive Extended Benefits (EB) you must have already exhausted your regular benefits and have a proven need for a unemployment benefits extension.
If you are for eligible for unemployment compensation extension, you could potentially receive an extra 50 percent added to your regular benefit entitlement. In the state of Iowa federal unemployment extensions are required by law to last a minimum of 16 weeks once unemployment levels have hit the required quota.
The second unemployment compensation extension program is the Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC). Individuals may only be eligible to receive Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation if they have first exhausted both their original unemployment benefits and their extended benefits.
Emergency Unemployment Compensation comes in four tiers that is divided into different periods of time:
- Tier 1 supplies benefits for 20 weeks
- Tier 2 supplies benefits for 14 weeks
- Tier 3 supplies benefits for 13 weeks
- Tier 4 supplies benefits for six weeks
- The tier in which the applicant falls under will be decided on a case by case basis.
How to Get an Unemployment Extension
While I is important to answer the question “how can I extend unemployment” it may be more important to first understand what is required to qualify for an unemployment extension in Iowa. The application process for your federal unemployment extension is not too different from the process you went through when applying for your original benefits.
There is a list of eligibility requirements that must be met in order to receive an unemployment extension:
- Have an active UI claim that ended on or after the first payable week of Extended Benefits.
- Not penalized from separating from their last employment due to quitting a job, being discharged for misconduct in connection with work or refusing an offer of suitable work.
- Be willing to seek and accept any suitable work. In the state of Alaska suitable work is defined as any work which they applicant has experience or training in and can both physically and mentally perform.
- Seek work and report a required number of work searches for each week claimed, unless deferred.
- Be registered and create an online resume in the Alaska Labor Exchange system within seven days of filing their initial claim.
Remember, just like your original benefit claim, you must maintain eligibility in order to receive your federal unemployment extension. This is why it is important to continue submitting your bi-weekly claims and job applications throughout the process of filing for an extension.
Continue to keep any proof of job searches such as the name, email, and address of the business you have applied to along with the manner in which you submitted your application. In the event that you have taken on a part time or full time job you must immediately contact your unemployment benefits department to inform them of the change. Not providing this information can not only terminate your benefits, but you can also be charged with fraud.