Glossary

1099-G

The tax form you receive indicating total UI benefits received and taxes withheld during a calendar year.

ABLE AND AVAILABLE

If you claim unemployment insurance benefits, you must be ready, willing and able to work. You must be prepared to start employment immediately and be physically and mentally capable of working in order to receive UI benefits.

ADDITIONAL UI CLAIM

An application to reactivate an existing unemployment insurance claim following a period of employment.    

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE (ALJ)

The IWD official who conducts unemployment insurance appeal hearings.

APPEAL

The right of interested parties to challenge a determination on the basis the determination is not legally correct or has been based on incorrect or incomplete facts. All appeals must be in writing, and must be filed by the specified deadline.

APPEAL HEARING

A formal proceeding held by an Administrative Law Judge to consider an appeal of a fact- finding decision concerning benefits or an employer’s tax liability.

ALTERNATE BASE PERIOD

The alternate base period is the four completed calendar quarters prior to the calendar quarter in which a claim begins.

BASE PERIOD

The base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the calendar quarter in which the claim begins.

BENEFITS

The amount of unemployment insurance benefit payments you receive each week.

BENEFIT WEEK

A calendar week, it starts at 12:01 a.m. Sunday and ends at midnight the following Saturday.

BENEFIT YEAR

The one-year period beginning with the Sunday in which the valid initial claim for unemployment insurance benefits is filed. It is during this period the individual may receive up to 26 full weeks of benefits.

BREAK IN REPORTING STATUS

You can start and stop claiming weekly benefits as many times as necessary during the benefit year. This is called a break in reporting status. Any break in reporting requires you to file another initial claim application to reactivate your claim.

CALENDAR QUARTER

The three-month period beginning with January, April, July and October.

1st Quarter – January 1 through March 31

2nd Quarter – April 1 through June 30

3rd Quarter – July 1 through September 30

4th Quarter – October 1 through December 31

CLAIMING BENEFITS

To receive a benefit payment after filing your initial claim for benefits, you must certify your eligibility by filing a weekly claim.

COMBINED WAGE CLAIM (CWC)

An Iowa claim in which the wages earned during a base period in Iowa are combined with all base period wages earned in other states to qualify for benefits or to increase the benefit amounts.

COMBINED WAGE CLAIM TRANSFER (CWC-T)

Iowa wages transferred to another state for use on an unemployment insurance claim.

COVERED EMPLOYMENT

Work performed for an employer who is subject to the Iowa Employment Security Law and who pays unemployment insurance taxes. It is also known as insured employment.

COVERED WAGES

Wages paid to an employee by an employer who is required to pay unemployment insurance taxes.

DEPARTMENT APPROVED TRAINING

An individual attending school or a training course can submit a written application requesting the work search requirement be waived.  

DEPENDENTS

Any individual who was claimed on the prior year’s income tax return.

DETERMINATION

A decision on a request for insured status, an unemployment insurance claim for benefits, or any unemployment insurance issue.

DETERMINATION DATE

The date a determination is made.

DIRECT DEPOSIT

Payment option that allows your UI benefit payments  to be deposited directly into a checking or savings account.  

DISASTER UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE (DUA)

If you become unemployed as a result of a declared disaster and lack the necessary earnings to qualify for an unemployment insurance claim, you may be eligible to receive benefits based on non-covered wages.

EFFECTIVE DATE (Benefits)

The date your benefit year begins. Unemployment insurance claims always begin on the Sunday of the week in which the UI claim is actually filed.

EMPLOYMENT APPEAL BOARD

On appeal, the Employment Appeal Board (EAB) reviews UI benefit decisions made by an IWD ALJ. Members of the EAB are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Iowa Senate. One member represents employers, one represents employees, and one is a representative of the public. The EAB is located in the Department of Inspections and Appeals.

EXCESSIVE EARNINGS

An amount equal to or greater than the weekly benefit amount plus $15.

FACT-FINDER

An Iowa Unemployment Insurance Division employee who makes determinations of eligibility on an unemployment insurance claim.

FACT-FINDING INTERVIEW

An informal interview, usually held over the phone, in which both you and the employer present information regarding the initial claim.

FEDERAL CLAIM

A claim in which there are wages earned from a Federal employer during the base period. We will send a request to the Federal employer to determine if the wages can be assigned to Iowa to be used on an unemployment insurance claim.

FRAUD

The willful misrepresentation or nondisclosure of a material fact for the purpose of obtaining benefits to which you are not entitled.

IDENTITY VERIFICATION

Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) uses data provided by LexisNexis® Risk Solutions to help verify and validate your identity.

INITIAL UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE CLAIM

An application by a worker for a determination of eligibility for unemployment insurance and computation of weekly and maximum benefit amounts.

LAG QUARTER

The calendar quarter immediately before the quarter in which the effective date falls.

MAXIMUM BENEFIT AMOUNT (MBA)

The total amount of unemployment insurance benefits available to you during a benefit year.

MILITARY CLAIM

A claim in which there are military wages earned during the base period. You must have served on active duty in the Armed Forces or served at least 180 consecutive days of active service in a US Military Reserve Force. You must provide the agency with your DD214 (member copy 4) to determine your eligibility.

MONETARY ELIGIBILITY

Eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits based on the gross insured wages paid to you during the base period. The maximum and minimum benefit amounts are determined by law and are subject to change each year.

OVERPAYMENT

Unemployment insurance benefits you received but were not entitled to because of disqualification, earnings or for other reasons.

PROTEST

A notice to us about a potentially disqualifying eligibility issue for unemployment insurance benefits. Protests on a claim may be initiated by the employer, the individual claiming benefits, or by us.

REACTIVATION

Any break in filing weekly claims (break in reporting status) will require you to file another initial claim application during the week you want to start collecting benefits again. Any employment during the break must be reported.

REFUSAL

You may be disqualified for failing to accept an offer or referral of suitable employment.

REGISTER FOR WORK

If you are required to complete work searches, you are also required to register for work with IowaJobs. Failure to register for work can result in denial of benefits.

REPORTING EARNINGS

Wages that must be reported the week that they are earned.  

REQUALIFICATION

A process by which you may establish eligibility for unemployment insurance through reemployment following a determination of ineligibility and a period of disqualification.

SECOND BENEFIT YEAR

To be eligible for a second claim year, you must earn wages in covered employment of at least eight times your weekly benefit amount since the effective date of your previous unemployment claim.

SELF-EMPLOYMENT

Income from self-employment is not considered wages and is not deducted from unemployment insurance benefits.

SEVERANCE

When an employer pays you for dismissal, termination, or separation, including  wages in lieu of notice. This is 100 percent deductible.

TRAINING EXTENSION BENEFITS

A benefit program for full time students that may allow you to receive up to an additional 26 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits if you qualify.  

TRADE ACT

Programs available if you are unemployed or underemployed as a result of increased foreign imports.  An employer must be certified as Trade eligible by the US Department of Labor.

VALID UI CLAIM

An application for unemployment insurance benefits that meets all the eligibility conditions specified by the law and establishes a benefit year.

WAGES

All compensation for personal services in cash or other medium unless specifically excluded from the definition of wages in Section 96.19(41) of the Iowa Code.

WEEKLY BENEFIT AMOUNT (WBA)

The amount payable to you for a payable week of unemployment.

WEEKLY CLAIM

A claim filed every week to receive unemployment insurance payments once an initial claim has been filed. It is also known as “weekly certification”.

Individual