FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20, 2016
Contact: Courtney Greene
Iowans Encouraged to File Unemployment Claims Online; Phone Option Phasing Out
DES MOINES, IA – Iowans filing continuing unemployment claims are encouraged to complete the process online rather than over the phone. Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) Unemployment Insurance (UI) Division is phasing out the telephone option and asking Iowans to file online. The phone option will no longer be available starting October 1, 2016.
Ryan West, UI Division Officer, said providing notice of the change more than two months in advance allows for a smooth transition for the small number of individuals who file unemployment insurance benefits over the phone.
“A great deal of the public already use the online option,” West said. “By transitioning the remaining Iowans to online filing, our claims specialists can provide better customer service to Iowans filing for unemployment by more effectively and efficiently processing employment claims.”
“In addition, the online process helps to ensure more timely and accurate benefit payouts to individuals as a detailed record is provided with a time and date stamp.”
West said employers and businesses will also reap benefits with the focus on online filing.
“We are committed to driving down administrative costs in the UI benefits system,” West said. “The integrity of the UI trust fund will be maintained by reducing incidents of fraud by eliminating improper payments, helping to lower employers’ taxes.”
Individuals receiving unemployment benefits are receiving a letter about the change. The letter outlines the easy steps to file a weekly claim or check the claim status online by going to the IWD website at www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov and clicking “File Weekly Claim” from the homepage.
If individuals do not have access to a computer, a limited number of UI Customer Service representatives are available to help claimants over the phone. The UI Customer Service number is 1-866-239-0843. Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
“Our goal is for all Iowans to submit their unemployment claims filings online, and we thank Iowans for their cooperation,” West said. “With the majority of job applications being submitted online, it is only natural we move to primarily an online system for filing unemployment claims.
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