Equal Opportunity is the Law

It is against the law for this recipient (IWD) of Federal financial assistance to discriminate on the following basis:

  • Against any individual in the U.S, on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation or belief; and
  • Against any beneficiary of programs financially assisted under Title 1 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) or the Workforce Investment Opportunity Act (WIOA) of July 2015, on the basis of the beneficiary’s citizenship/status as a lawfully admitted immigrant authorized to work in the United States, or his or her participation in any WIA or WIOA Title 1 - financially assisted program or activity.

Anyone who believes they have been subjected to discrimination should contact the Equal Opportunity Officer located at:
Iowa Workforce Development 
1000 East Grand Avenue 
Des Moines, IA 50319

Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. For deaf or hard of hearing, use Relay 711. 

Unemployment Insurance

UI is paid entirely by employers who are covered by the Iowa Employment Security Law. Employees do not pay any part of this cost. UI is not based on need; it provides temporary benefits for people who are:

  • Unemployed or working reduced hours through no fault of their own
  • Able to work and available for work
  • Actively looking for work (unless this requirement is  waived by IWD)

The intent is to pay benefits to eligible individuals during periods of unemployment when suitable work is not available. Individuals must meet all eligibility requirements set by law to receive UI benefit payments. This handbook summarizes these conditions.

Social Security Number Use

Social Security Numbers (SSN) are used to:

  • Verify identity with the Social Security Administration
  • Verify eligibility for UI benefits
  • Report UI benefit payments as taxable income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and to the Iowa Department of Revenue
  • Detect fraud in federal and state programs
  • Enforce child support orders

Wage, benefit, and other information under SSN may be exchanged with other agencies that administer federally assisted programs.

WARNING: Do not provide a SSN or other personal information unless the representative can verify they are an IWD employee.

Everyone Owns Integrity

Everyone is responsible for upholding UI integrity. Individuals, employers and IWD staff are expected to act honestly and in good faith. Integrity helps IWD prevent errors, fraud and abuse by those who do not follow the UI rules.
The UI program can be confusing. IWD can help individuals with any questions about responsibilities and requirements for receiving UI benefits. While prevention is the key to integrity, IWD helps anyone who may have made a mistake and has improperly received benefits. IWD can be reached by email or phone.

UI Fraud

Fraud is knowingly providing false information or withholding information to receive UI benefits. Fraudulently collecting UI benefits is a serious offense. It can lead to severe penalties, which include:

  • Criminal prosecution, fines and imprisonment
  • Denial of future benefits by administrative penalty
  • Repayment of fraudulently collected UI benefits, plus a 15 percent penalty and daily interest
  • Wage garnishments and liens
  • Interception of state and federal tax refunds

IWD uses automatic wage cross match programs, claim audits and additional investigative tools to detect fraud. IWD also compares state and federal new hire reports to UI claims to ensure that individuals who have returned to work full-time are no longer collecting benefits and individuals who are working part-time are reporting correct earnings. Claim audits are also conducted to confirm work searches were completed for each employer listed on the work search record.

Individuals who have received UI benefits fraudulently, and have outstanding fraud debt including penalty, interest and lien fees will be ineligible to receive UI benefits until the full amount of the debt is paid in full.  Individuals cannot use weekly benefit payments to offset fraud debt. 

If an individual thinks they may have mistakenly reported incorrect information, they should contact IWD to correct the situation before an investigation begins. Contact IWD by email or phone.

Quality Control Reviews

The Quality Control (QC) unit of the UI Integrity Bureau randomly selects claims and benefit denial decisions each week for review, to determine if benefits were accurately paid or denied. Selected individuals are required to participate in the review as a condition of continuing eligibility for UI benefits. A Notice of Selection, containing the date and time of the telephone interview with a QC Auditor, is mailed to each selected individual prior to the review. Individuals will receive a questionnaire for completion prior to the telephone interview. Individuals must have a record of their work searches made for the week under review, as QC will verify the work search with the employer(s). Refusal to cooperate with the auditor will result in a denial of UI benefits.