Unemployment Insurance Benefits: Filing an Unemployment Insurance Claim

You should file an application for an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim as soon as you become fully or partially unemployed. Your initial claim starts on the Sunday of the week you submit the application, not the last day you worked. UI weeks begin on Sunday and end on Saturday. No UI benefits are paid for the weeks of unemployment prior to the week you submit the application.

You may apply using one of the following four options:
To create an account and file the application for a UI claim, Click Here.
Filing online is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

At an IowaWORKS Center
File the application for the UI claim at your nearest IowaWORKS Center.  Click Here for more information about IowaWORKS Centers.

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 availability are the same hours held by the community partner location hosting the Virtual Access Point Location.

With Your Employer
Some employers are able to file an initial UI claim application for recently laid-off employees. Check with your employer to see if they participate in this program.

You need the following information to complete the application:

  • Social Security Number
  • Alien identification number (if you are NOT a U.S. citizen or a national)
  • Name, address and telephone number of your most recent employer
  • Standard Form 8/SF-8 ( if you worked for the federal government in the last 18 months)
  • DD-214 Member Copy 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 a copy of the DD-214 to IWD if you want to use your military wages on the UI claim