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File a Claim for Unemployment Insurance Benefits

Eligibility Requirements for Unemployment Insurance Benefits

To be eligible for UI benefits the claimant must:

  • be totally or partially unemployed
  • have worked and earned a minimum amount of wages in work covered by UI in the last 15 to 18 months
  • have lost his or her job through no fault of their own
  • be able and available for work
  • NEW! Verify your identity through online verification or provide required documents
  • be actively seeking work (work search may be waived if certain criteria are met)
  • be registered for work (unless the work search requirement is waived).


                                                                                                            Apply Online Now

Protect Yourself from Scams

IWD does not ask for unemployment insurance overpayments to be paid by credit card or gift cards. Individuals who have received an unemployment insurance overpayment will be notified by mail delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.

In addition, IWD does not request sensitive account information through email communications. Individuals filing for unemployment insurance benefits will receive pertinent information regarding their account through the U.S. Postal Service.

Information required when filing for Unemployment Insurance (UI) Benefits

The following information is needed when filing for UI benefits:

  • social security number
  • name, payroll address and telephone number of your last employer
  • start and end dates of your last job
  • whether or not you will receive vacation pay, severance, etc.
  • alien registration number (if not a U.S. citizen or permanent refugee)
  • DD-214 (Member 4) if you served in the U.S. military during the last 18 months
  • Verifying your identity by answering security questions
  • Standard Form 8 (SF-8) if you worked for the federal government in the last 18 months
  • name(s), date(s) of birth, and social security number(s) of any dependents that are claimed as exemptions on your federal income tax return
    • Spouses may be claimed as a dependent if their gross wages were $120.00 or less in the week prior to filing your claim.
    • Self-employment does not count as gross wages for dependent purposes.

How To Apply for UI benefits

You may file for UI benefits online (the fastest and most efficient way) or at a local IowaWORKS Center.

                                                                                                    Apply Online Now

NOTICE:  New Legislative Changes to UI system: All new claims filed on or after July 3, 2022 will fall under new changes passed by the legislature. The changes include a reduction in the maximum length of an unemployment claim and new percentage guidelines for suitable work requirements... read more.

AVISO: Nuevos cambios legislativos al sistema de UI: Todas las nuevas reclamaciones presentadas a partir del 3 de julio de 2022 caerán bajo nuevos cambios aprobados por la legislatura. Los cambios incluyen una reducción en la duración máxima de una solicitud de desempleo y nuevas pautas porcentuales para los requisitos de trabajo adecuados ... leer más.

Work registration

You must register for work when you apply for Unemployment Insurance (UI) and you are no longer attached to an employer.  You can do this at your local IowaWORKS center or online.   If you have already registered for work on,  and have created a Employer Searchable resume you have met this requirement and no action is needed.

To Register for Work in Iowa, you must complete the registration and a resume using the IowaWORKS website

You must log in and complete all questions.  NOTE:  It is important to register using your social security number (SSN), the system may not be able to find your information based on your name and other identifying information.  If you do not use your SSN, we may be unable to verify that you have registered for work and benefits may be withheld until this requirement has been verified.

A valid work registration will be considered valid when , at a minimum, the following is in the claimant's IowaWORKS account:

               You must provide your social security number (SSN) to be considered "registered for work".

  •        Create an active résumé

               You must make the résumé available online for review by employer.

For any questions about completing your work registration or setting up your resume, contact your local IowaWORKS center

Failure to complete the online application will result in the denial of your unemployment benefits if you are required to look for work.  

Additional information is available.  Review these Frequently Asked Questions about Unemployment Insurance. For additional information or to better understand the eligibility requirements, please refer to the Unemployment Insurance Benefits Handbook or contact Customer Service at 866-239-0843.