Continued Eligibility

Work Search Requirements

Unless waived by IWD, individuals are required to make a minimum of two job contacts each week. The work search requirement may be waived if an individual is temporarily unemployed and expects to be recalled by their former employer within a reasonable period of time or is in school and approved for Department Approved Training (DAT). The work search requirement will be determined each time a claim is filed.

In order to meet the work search requirements, individuals must make two job contacts between Sunday and Saturday of the week they are claiming benefits. Contacts may be made in person, online, by mail, email or faxing résumés or applications. Telephone calls are not acceptable. The work search must be a reasonable and honest effort to find suitable work. Failure to perform an honest effort work search may result in the denial of benefits. Participation in reemployment services activities may qualify as a work search.

Individuals must be willing to accept a reasonable wage for the job for which they are applying. An individual may not apply for the same position with the same employer more than once every six weeks.
Individuals must keep a written record of all work search contacts for a period of one year and be ready to provide a copy if requested by IWD. Failure to comply may result in denial of benefits.
The information needs to include:

  • Date of the contact
  • Company name, address and phone number
  • Contact name
  • Method of contact i.e. in person, online, email, mail
  • Results of contact

Members of a union hiring hall are required to be in good standing and must contact the union in accordance to hall rules.

Personal Identification Number

Whether filing a weekly claim online or by phone, a four-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN) is required. This number is selected by the individual the first time a weekly claim is filed. The PIN must be four digits and cannot include the same number (i.e. 1111 or 3333) or numbers in a consecutive order (i.e. 1234 or 6789). The PIN protects a claim from being accessed by someone other than the individual and should be kept secure. Individuals should choose a PIN that is easy to remember since they will use this number each week they file a continued claim for benefits.

NOTE: In some cases, a new PIN must be selected after reactivating an existing claim.

Individuals must keep their PIN confidential and should never let anyone file their weekly claim on their behalf. Individuals should contact IWD to reset their PIN if it has been compromised.

Filing Weekly Claims

How to File

After you file your initial claim, file weekly claims online at www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov for every week you are unemployed or your hours are reduced.  You must file a weekly claim for any week that you want payment even if your eligibility is being decided or you have an appeal pending. Payment will not be made for any weeks that are not filed timely. If a weekly claim filing is missed for one or more weeks, a new initial claim application must be filed. It is your responsibility to check the status of your claim during the week to ensure the prior week has been recorded.

To request UI benefit payments during weeks of unemployment, individuals must certify online they:

  • Are currently unemployed or working reduced hours
  • Are able to work and available for work
  • Have not refused any job offers or referrals to a job
  • Are actively looking for work (unless waived)
  • Are reporting any pay or pension payment

 

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Start of UI claim week one

 

 

 

 

 

Last day of week one (no filing)

First day to file week one

File for week one

File for week one

File for week one

File for week one

Last day to file for week one

Last day of week two (no filing)

First day to file week two

File for week two

File for week two

File for week two

File for week two

Last day to file for week two

Last day of week
three (no filing)

First day to file week three

File for week three

File for week three

File for week three

File for week three

Last day to file for week three

Last day of week four (no filing)

 

When to File
The current week is the week that just ended on Saturday. Weekly claims must be filed 8 am Sunday through 5:30 pm Friday for the prior week only. This means individuals have six days to file the previous week’s claim. See the chart above for the days available to file. Weekly claims can be filed online using a mobile device or computer at https://uiclaims.iwd.iowa.gov/weeklyclaims/. Delay in filing your weekly claim could result in denial of benefits.

IMPORTANT: You will receive confirmation that the claim has been processed successfully.  If you don’t receive confirmation, the process must be repeated until the claim has been successfully submitted. 

Preparing to file the Weekly Claim

Individuals should have the following information available when filing their weekly claim:

  • SSN
  • PIN
  • Total amount of gross wages (before deductions) earned during the week
  • Total amount of gross holiday pay, gross vacation and severance, if applicable

To calculate gross earnings, multiply the number of hours worked (Sunday through Saturday) times the rate of pay. Example: 10 hours X $12.00/hour = $120.00 in gross earnings. 

Individuals are encouraged to keep a piece of paper and pencil handy in case they need to write down any information during the process. This will be beneficial in case IWD needs to be contacted for any issues that may arise.

Reporting Earnings

Gross earnings or gross wages are your earnings before taxes or other payroll deductions are made. Earnings or wages must be reported on the weekly claim during the week the wages are earned, not when the wages are paid. Earnings must be reported even if the payment has not been received yet. To calculate the amount to report, the individual should multiply the number of hours worked by the hourly wage. Individuals should report the full gross amount of earnings and IWD will calculate any deductions. If an individual earns $15 or more over their WBA, they will not receive a benefit payment.

Earnings are calculated differently depending on the type of income. See the chart on the right for general guidelines on deductibility.

PARTIALLY DEDUCTIBLE FROM THE BENEFIT PAYMENT BASED ON A FORMULA

An individual may earn up to 25 percent of their WBA before the benefit payment is reduced but there is still a requirement to report all earnings even if under 25 percent. Earnings higher than 25 percent will reduce the benefit payment.

  • Wages
  • Holiday pay
  • Stand-by pay
  • Tips, gratuities, commission and incentive pay*
  • Strike pay,
  • Any compensation other than cash (i.e. room and board, cell phone)

Example: An individual’s WBA is $400 and they earn $370.

  • 25% of $400 is $100. $100 is not deducted from the WBA.
  • $370 - $100 = $270. The remaining $270 is deducted from the WBA.
  • $400 - $270 = $130.
  • $130 is the payment amount for the week.

FULLY DEDUCTIBLE FROM THE BENEFIT PAYMENT

Each dollar the individual earns reduces their

benefit payment by one dollar (dollar-for-dollar).

  • Vacation pay and paid time off
  • Severance pay
  • Pension, retirement, annuity, or any other similar period payment
  • Workers’ Compensation (temporary total disability)
  • Paid excused leave (funeral or personal leave)

Example: An individual’s WBA is $400 and they receive a $370 vacation payout for the week they are claiming.

  • $400 - $370 = $30. $30 is the payment amount for the week

NOT DEDUCTIBLE FROM THE BENEFIT PAYMENT

  • Self-employment income
  • National Guard duty pay
  • Social Security benefits

Even though these payments do not need to be reported to IWD, the individual must still maintain their eligibility as instructed in this handbook.

Reporting Vacation Pay

Vacation pay is reportable for the first 5 work days following the last day worked.  You must report vacation pay on your weekly claim, depending on the number of days of vacation pay you received.  Vacation pay is applied to an 8 hour work day and a 5 day work week, Monday through Friday. If you received less than 5 days of vacation pay, you should report the amount and number of days that you received or will received. 

Vacation Pay 40 hours or less
If you received less than 5 days of vacation pay, you should report the amount and number of days that you received or will received. 

Ex: Employee's last day worked is Wednesday.  She will receive 32 hours vacation pay in the amount of $800.  The money should be reported on weekly claim as follows:

$800/4 = $200 per day

  Sunday Monday  Tuesday  Wednesday Thursday  Friday   Saturday
Week 1         Last day  $200
 (8 hrs) 
 $200
 (8 hrs) 
 
Week 2  File for last week 1
Report $400 vacation pay
 $200
 (8 hrs)
 $200
 (8 hrs)
       
Week 3  File for last week 2
Report $400 vacation pay
           

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vacation Pay in excess of 40 hours
If you received or will receive vacation pay in excess of 40 hours, you must take the total amount and divide by 5.

Example: Employees last day is Wednesday. She will receive 80 hours of vacation totally $1000.  The money should be reported on the weekly claim as follows:

$1000/5 - $200 per day

  Sunday Monday  Tuesday  Wednesday Thursday  Friday   Saturday
Week 1         Last day  $200
 (8 hrs) 
 $200
 (8 hrs) 
 
Week 2  File for last week 1
Report $400 vacation pay
 $200
 (8 hrs)
 $200
 (8 hrs)
 $200
 (8 hrs)
     
Week 3  File for last week 2
Report $600 vacation pay
           

 

 

 

 

* Total vacation dollar amount / 5 = dollar amount to report for each day. 

Self-Employment

Income from self-employment is not considered wages and is not deducted from UI benefits. However, eligibility requirements must still be met. To receive UI benefits, an individual must be able, available, actively looking for work and willing to accept suitable work. If it is determined self-employment prevents an individual from accepting suitable work, they may be disqualified due to being unavailable for work.

Work Registration Requirement

Individuals required to search for work must register for work with IWD online at www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov or at the nearest IowaWORKS center. Registration must be completed within ten days of filing the initial claim. Failure to complete a registration could result in denial of benefits.

Ability to Work and Available for Work

Individuals must be able and available for work while claiming benefits. It is important to notify IWD of any condition or situation which would prevent an individual from working, accepting work, or looking for work the majority of the week. These situations may include, but are not limited to:

  • Illness, injury, or hospitalization
  • Being in jail
  • Attending school
  • Being on vacation or out of town
  • No childcare
  • No transportation

Individuals should contact IWD to report any changes that could affect their benefits.

Suitable Work/Work Refusals

Individuals are required to search for and accept suitable work, unless waived by IWD. Factors used to determine if the job offer is acceptable include wage, length of unemployment, working conditions and job duties.

The wage requirements for determining if work is suitable are calculated using the wages earned in the high quarter of the base period. The high base period quarter is divided by 13 (the number of weeks in a quarter) to calculate the average weekly wage (AWW).

Example: An individual’s earnings in the high quarter are $5,200. To compute the AWW, divide $5,200 by 13. The AWW is $400 which equals $10 per hour in a 40 hour work week.

A job offer may be considered suitable if the offered wages are at or above the following percentages of the AWW:

  • 100 percent if work is offered in the first five weeks of a claim
  • 75 percent if work is offered during the 6th through 12th week of a claim
  • 70 percent if work is offered during the 13th through 18th week of a claim
  • 65 percent if work is offered after the 18th week of a claim

Individuals are not required to accept any job offers that are below the federal or state minimum wage.

EXAMPLE: If an individual is offered work that pays $290 per week ($7.25 per hour in a 40 hour work week) during the ninth week of the claim, the job offer is not considered suitable because it is below 75 percent of the AWW.
When the individual files a weekly claim, they must report if they refused any job offer or referral during that week.

Pensions and Retirement Payouts

When an individual files a weekly claim, they must report any pension payment, 401K payout or other similar periodic or lump sum payments. IWD will contact the individual for the following information:

  • Name of contributing employer(s)
  • Percent employer contributed
  • Effective date
  • Gross amount

Once the above information is received, IWD will determine if the payment is deductible from UI benefits.