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Governor Reynolds announces assistance for employees and employers affected by COVID-19 related layoffs

DES MOINES – Governor Reynolds today announced assistance for workers and employers impacted by layoffs related to COVID-19.  The guidance includes information for employees filing for unemployment insurance claims, as well as information on programs available for employers.

“Iowa has incredible employers accommodating the needs of Iowans during the disruption caused by COVID-19,” said Gov. Reynolds. “The state of Iowa is doing everything we can to ease the process and shorten the time it will take for Iowans to receive unemployment benefits. All of our state agencies continue to work as one team to lessen the impact COVID-19 will have on our economy and our people.”   

“Iowa Workforce Development is taking steps to reduce the impact of these claims on employers who have had to temporarily lay off staff due to closures or slowdowns,” said IWD Director BethTownsend. “IWD encourages all employers to utilize paid leave and telework options for employees before utilizing temporary layoffs.  Iowa Workforce Development will continue to monitor the situation, working with our stakeholders and updates will be released on our webpage.”  

Unemployment insurance claims:

  •         If you are laid off due to COVID-19 or have to stay home to self-isolate, care for family members or due to illness related to COVID-19, you can receive unemployment benefits, provided you meet all other eligibility requirements. Work search requirements will be waived. More specific explanation of benefit eligibility can be found at: https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/2019-unemployment-insurance-claimant-handbook
  •         Claimants can expect to receive payment within 7-10 days after the date the claim is filed.
  •         Claims that are filed and identified as a direct or indirect result of COVID-19, will not be charged to employers.  Fact-finding interviews for these claims will be waived and not be held although employers will be notified of claims received. 
  •         IWD will process unemployment insurance payments to ensure payment will continue to be paid in a timely manner. 

“The Iowa Workforce Development team is dedicated to providing assistance to employees and employers affected by COVID-19.  Please do not hesitate to contact myself or our team for assistance at 1-866-239-0843,” said Director Townsend. 

More information about COVID-19 and Iowa Workforce Development

IWD COVID-19 page is updated as new information becomes available.

Gov. Reynolds announces unemployment insurance tax extension to assist small businesses

March 23, 2020

DES MOINES - Today, Governor Reynolds announced that first quarter unemployment tax payments that are due April 30th  will be delayed till the end of the 2nd quarter, July 31, 2020.  Eligible employers include those employers with 50 or fewer employees. Eligible employers also must be in good standing with no delinquencies in quarterly payments. 

“Iowa’s small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities and the engine behind our economy. Now more than ever we need to make sure they have the ability to manage their cash flow,” said Gov. Reynolds. “It’s critically important that we continue to take steps in support of our small business community during these challenging times.” 

To qualify for the extension, the employer must be current on all quarterly tax payments before the 1st quarter of 2020 regardless of whether or not they are seeking an extension of tax payment. All employers must file Quarterly Employers Contribution and Payroll Report electronically by 4:30 on April 24th to avoid late report filing penalty. 

Payments for Q1 would be due when Q2 payments are due, July 31, 2020. No interest or penalties will accrue for delayed payments for the eligible group.  The extension of payment deadline without interest is not a holiday or forgiveness and the taxes will be due July 31, 2020. Employers still need to file their quarterly reports, which contain employee wage data necessary to compute benefit eligibility and amounts to be paid.

“More than 95% of businesses in Iowa, or 72,264 employers, have 50 or fewer employees.  They employ a total of 417,536 Iowans, pay approximately $4.2 billion in wages.  Providing an extension to paying unemployment insurance taxes will help the vast majority of employers during this difficult time,” said Director Beth Townsend, Iowa Workforce Development.

For an employer who elects to take advantage of the extension, please contact our Unemployment Insurance Tax division at either 1-888-848-7442 or by sending an email to Q1tax@iwd.iowa.gov.   If an employer would like to request additional time to pay the tax, please contact the Unemployment Insurance Tax Division. IWD recommends sending an email versus a phone call as there is a high call volume during this time that may lead to extended wait times.  Employers must notify IWD of intent to delay payment by Friday, April 24th at 4:30 pm.

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  • This webinar covers unemployment information for employees impacted by COVID-19.

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Webinar Series: “Building a Future Ready Workforce”

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