Unemployment Insurance Benefits: Filing an Unemployment Insurance Claim

As soon as you become fully or partially unemployed you should file your inital Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim by filling out an application. Your UI claim is effective the Sunday of the week during which the application is filed. No UI benefits are paid for the weeks of unemployment prior to the week you submit the application.

UI claims are applied for by one of the following four options:

To create an account and file your inital UI claim Click Here.
If you already have an account and need to file your weekly continued UI claim Click Here.
Filing online is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

At an IowaWORKS Center Location
You may file the application for the UI claim at your local IowaWORKS Center. (Click Here for more information about your local IowaWORKS Center)

At a Virtual Access Point Location
Virtual Access Points provide workstations at various locations within your community where you may file an application for UI benefits, Click Here to review locations in your area. Virtual Access Point workstations feature a “live chat” function allowing you to communicate live with an Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) employee. The Virtual Access Point hours of availablity are the same hours held by the community partner location hosting the Virtual Access Point Location (however, by other means IWD personnel is always available for assistance from 8:00 am – 8:00 pm Monday-Thursday; 8:00 am – 7:00 pm Friday; and 10:00 am – 2:00 pm on Saturdays.

With Your Emeployer
Some employers are able to file an initial UI claim for a recently separated employee (check with your employer to see if they participate in this program)

Claiments need to provide the following information when filing an application:

  • Social Security number
  • Alien Registration number (if you are not a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident)
  • Name, payroll address and telephone number of your most recent employer
  • A Standard Form 8 (SF-8), if you worked for the federal government in the last 18 months
  • A DD-214 (Member 4), if you served in the U.S. military during the last 18 months
    Note: If you currently do not have the DD214, you may submit the application without it; however, you will need to provide the DD214 to IWD if you want to use your military wages on the UI claim.

In order to be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits you must meet these basic eligibility requirements:

  • Totally or partially unemployed
  • Worked and earned the minimum amount of wages required (for work covered by unemployment insurance in the last 15 to 18 months)
  • Lost your job through no fault of your own
  • Able and available for work
  • Register for work at a local IowaWORKS Center unless a work search is waived by IWD
  • Actively seeking work unless work search is waived by IWD