Official State of Iowa Website Here is how you know

Updates and Resources about COVID-19

Please review the following information about the impact of COVID-19.  Iowa Workforce Development will provide updates as they become available. 

Update on May 11, 2021

Governor Kim Reynolds announced new measures to address the State of Iowa’s severe workforce shortage. Effective June 12, 2021, the State of Iowa will end its participation in federal pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs. The Governor also announced that effective June 13, 2021, Iowa will no longer waive employer charges for COVID-related unemployment insurance claims.   

Read the full press release here: Iowa to end participation in federal unemployment benefit programs, citing strong labor market and recovering economy.  

Read the memorandum: Recommendation regarding continued participation in Federal unemployment programs (PDF) 

Workers - COVID-19 and Unemployment Insurance FAQs 

Employers - COVID-19 and Unemployment Insurance FAQs 

State Resources

 A status report of monitoring and testing of COVID-19 in Iowa provided by Iowa Department of Public Health can be found on the main IDPH Novel Coronavirus website.  In addition, a public hotline has been established for Iowans with questions about COVID-19. The line is available 24/7 by calling 2-1-1. 

Help increase the rate of COVID-19 testing in Iowa by taking the TestIowa assessment. Take the free assessment here:

Employers or claimants with questions can email Iowa Workforce Development at or call us at 1-866-239-0843.

Language services are available through the Refugee Alliance of Central Iowa. Learn more about information and resources such as the multilingual hotline available here:

Iowa Housing Recovery Program - Iowa Finance Authority launched Iowa Housing Recovery to assist Iowans who have been impacted by the pandemic. Visit the website, or view the announcement for the Iowa Rent and Utility Assistance Program Eligibility Precheck form.  The program is available statewide with the exception of residents of Polk County or City of Des Moines, as there is a local program they need to apply to, more information on that program is available at:

Below is an index of topics related to COVID-19:


The CARES Act increased the availability of unemployment insurance benefits to those that are self-employed, contract workers, those ineligible for state unemployment benefits or have exhausted benefits.  Here is guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor:

 CARES Act Information  

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)

Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions and Answers

On April 24, 2020, Governor Reynolds addressed situations when workers laid off due to COVID-19 are called back to their place of employment but refuse to return. Refusing to return to work may disqualify claimants from future unemployment insurance benefits. Watch the Governor's workforce update here.

The CARES Act provides for individual payments of up to $1,200, plus an additional $500 for every qualifying child age 16 or under.  These payments are not related to unemployment benefits and will be paid directly by the federal government based on information from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  You do not need to apply for these payments through IWD.  The IRS will provide additional information on its website as it becomes available:

Written statement from IWD Director Beth Townsend - U.S. Senate Finance Committee (June 9, 2020)

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Information for Workers

Frequently Asked Questions

Workers - COVID-19 and Unemployment Insurance Questions 

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Attention Self-Employed, Independent Contractors, Gig Economy Workers, Nonprofit Employees, Free Lancers, etc: 

If you have filed an unemployment claim and are self-employed, an independent contractor, gig economy worker, etc., please disregard the form you receive from IWD on green paper.  It is a standard form that is computer generated and has no bearing on your claim. No additional action is necessary at this time. Please continue filing your weekly claim. You can learn more information here.

COVID-19 Scenarios & Benefits Chart 

Image of COVID-19 Scenario Chart

PDF Version of the COVID-19 Scenario Chart


Temporary Job opportunities

Looking for a temporary position? Here is a list of employers looking for temporary help: Employers with temporary job openings

Information for migrant and seasonal farm workers

Guidance for Migrant and Seasonal Farm Workers and COVID-19    

Guía COVID-19 para Empleadores Agrícolas, Contratistas de Trabajadores Agrícolas, Trabajadores Agrícolas Migrantes y Temporales, y Operadores de Campamentos de Trabajadores Migrantes

Scam Alerts 

  • An unemployment insurance scam that exploits the U.S. Department of Labor website and UI claims filing - It has been reported that there is a posting on a Facebook group (Strictly Homebased Work)—linking to a job posting on UpWork that is soliciting call center workers—allegedly for CareerOneStop.  The call-center script offers to help people file a UI claim for a fee of $49.50. The script directs the call-center workers to say they are calling on “behalf of CareerOneStop which is a product of the USDOL/ETA.” This is a scam. Customers are not charged to file a UI Claim, so this is how the information is compromised.
  • Criminals offering cash rewards to access state unemployment benefits -  A fraud ring is engaging in social engineering to commit identity theft and claims fraud by circulating emails and Facebook posts telling recipients they won prize money. When the victim clicks on the link, the attacker has them take steps to tie their identity to the attacker’s login. Please report the incident if you receive any email or social media communication like this. 

To report incidents of attempted fraud or scams, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at or email

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File for Unemployment insurance benefits

Apply for benefits online or over the phone

You can file for unemployment insurance benefits here:

If you have questions about your claim, please call 1-866-239-0843, or email 

How to file for benefits (tutorial videos)

How to file for unemployment insurance online

How to File Your Unemployment Insurance Claim Online (English)   

¿Necesita ayuda para presentar en línea? Vea este video: 

  Cómo presentar su reclamo de seguro de desempleo en línea

How to file your weekly claim

How to File your Weekly Claim - CARES Act updates (English)

Self-employed? Learn how to file for benefits if you are self-employed

How to file for unemployment benefits if you are self-employed  

Cómo puede presentar un reclamo si trabaja por cuenta propia.

 El video le mostrará cómo presentar un reclamo de seguro de desempleo si trabaja por cuenta propia

Additional information for claimants

NOTICE: IWD does not accept paper applications.  Please do not submit paper applications or use apps that result in paper applications to file for unemployment. These methods will significantly slow down processing and payment of your claim.  Please continue to file online here or file or over the phone 1-866-239-0843.

If you have questions about your claim, please call 1-866-239-0843, or email 

For Claimants- Report Back Pay information on this website:

Unemployment Insurance Claimant Handbook

Unemployment Insurance Claimant Handbook (English)

Manual Del Reclamante Del Seguro De Desempleo (Español) 

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Information for Employers

Frequently Asked Questions for Employers

Employers - COVID-19 and Unemployment Insurance Questions       Español   العربية    Bosanski    Burmese    Hakha    ລາວ    Somali    Tiếng Việt    ကညီကျိ )

Employers - Voluntary Shared Work Program

Employers - WARN Notice Information

Mitigating COVID-19 for Iowa Businesses and Organizations - Frequently asked questions with answers to assist Iowan’s with virus containment

Attention Employers: 

At this time, IWD is not charging employers for claims made by their employees due to COVID-19 related unemployment. Presently, there are also no plans to enact a trigger to begin charging employers in the event that the trust goes below a certain threshold. IWD will notify employers of any changes to this decision should the need arise.

For Employers - Report Back Pay information on this website:

If you have offered work to employees and your employee refuses to return to work, you must notify Iowa Workforce Development here:  


Resources for small business owners


Iowa Economic Development Authority provides resources and information on recovery assistance for Iowa Businesses. Iowa Business Recovery Assistance

Iowa small business development centers - resources

Small Business Development Center counselors are available to help you navigate through the COVID-19 crisis. Learn more here:

Requesting Disaster Assistance loans for small businesses impacted by COVID-19

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) updated criteria on states for requesting disaster assistance loans for small businesses impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19).  

The relaxed criteria will have two immediate impacts:

  • Faster, Easier Qualification Process for States Seeking SBA Disaster Assistance. Historically, the SBA has required that any state or territory impacted by disaster provide documentation certifying that at least five small businesses have suffered substantial economic injury as a result of a disaster, with at least one business located in each declared county/parish. Under the just-released, revised criteria, states or territories are only required to certify that at least five small businesses within the state/territory have suffered substantial economic injury, regardless of where those businesses are located.
  • Expanded, Statewide Access to SBA Disaster Assistance Loans for Small Businesses. SBA disaster assistance loans are typically only available to small businesses within counties identified as disaster areas by a Governor. Under the revised criteria issued today, disaster assistance loans will be available statewide following an economic injury declaration. This will apply to current and future disaster assistance declarations related to Coronavirus.

Learn more here:

Paycheck Protection Program Information for Small Businesses

Businesses can apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) at any lending institution that is approved to participate in the program through the existing U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) lending program lenders approved by the U.S. Department of Treasury. Program participants must use 75% of the loan for payroll purposes. Applications are now open.  Here are more details : Paycheck Protection Program FAQs

Lending institutions participating in the Paycheck Protection Program in Iowa: 

Iowa Division of Credit Unions Regulatory Advisory Bulletin about the Paycheck Protection Program

Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application


Temporary Job Opportunities

Need temporary help? Post temporary job openings here:  Employers with temporary job openings

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Unemployment Insurance for Employees Impacted by COVID-19

Healthcare Jobs: Opportunities in Iowa During COVID-19      Information provided by each organization: Broadlawns,  Lutheran Services of IowaDepartment of Human Services

Employer Webinar (March 17, 2020)

Employer Webinar: CARES Act update (April 7, 2020)

Self-Employed Webinar: CARES Act update (April 16, 2020)     Questions and Answers from Self-Employed Webinar (April 16, 2020)

COVID-19 Business Prevention Webinar for Manufacturers  Representatives from the Iowa Governor’s Office, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Iowa Workforce Development and Iowa Department of Public Health provide an overview of preventative measures and resources for manufactures as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes resources for reopening businesses in a responsible manner. 

Webinar - Employer Recovery and Return (May 21, 2020)

ICA Webinar for Restaurants


Guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor:

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Guidance

OSHA - COVID-19 website. This provides infection prevention information specifically for workers and employers. OSHA is actively reviewing and responding to any complaints regarding workplace protection from novel coronavirus, as well as conducting outreach activities. 

OSHA - Guidance on Returning to Work    Press Release: U.S. Department of Labor issues OSHA Guidance as non-essential businesses reopen and employees return to work

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

OSHA Publications 

Employee Rights under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act)

Website - Businesses and Workplaces: Plan, Prepare, and Respond

Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19. The guidance, developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is designed to help companies respond in the event of coronavirus in the workplace. 

OSHA Alert: Prevent Worker Exposure to Coronavirus (COVID-19)   -   Tome Medidas para Prevenir la Exposición de los Trabajadores al Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Enforcement Guidance for Recording Cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Enforcement Guidance for Respiratory Protection and the N95 Shortage Due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic

Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has issued interim enforcement guidance for the use of disposable N95 filtering face piece respirators

U.S. Department of Labor Publishes New OSHA Poster Aimed At Reducing Workplace Exposure to the Coronavirus - Press release

Expanded Temporary Enforcement Guidance

Guidance - Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program

Guidance - Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program

Guidance - Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program

Guidance - Discretion in Enforcement when Considering an Employer's Good Faith Efforts During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic

Guidance - COVID-19 Guidance for the Seafood Industry Workforce

Guidance - COVID-19 Guidance for the Manufacturing Industry Workforce   -  Guía sobre la Preparación del Personal de la Industria Manufacturera para el Virus COVID-19

Guidance -  COVID-19 Guidance for the Package Delivery Workforce   -   Guía sobre la Preparación del Personal de Entrega de Paquetes para el Virus COVID-19

Guidance - COVID-19 Guidance for the Construction Workforce  -  Guía sobre la Preparación del Personal de la Industria de Construcción para el Virus COVID-19

Website - COVID-19 Control and Prevention: Construction Work

Guidance - Interim Enforcement Response Plan for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Enforcement Guidance on Decontamination of Filtering Facepiece Respirators in Healthcare During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic

Interim Guidance - Meat and Poultry Processing Workers and Employers 

Facility Assessment Tool for Meat and Poultry Processing Facilities For use by public health officials

Checklist - Employee Health and Food Safety Checklist for Human and Animal Food Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Guidance - COVID-19 Guidance for Restaurants & Beverage Vendors Offering Takeout or Curbside Pickup  -  Guía sobre la Preparación de los Restaurantes y Vendedores de Bebidas que Ofrecen Servicio de Recogida Durante la Pandemia del Virus COVID-19

OSHA Information for Dentistry Workers and Employers

Guidance - COVID-19 Guidance for Dental Practitioners  -  Guía sobre la Preparación de los Odontólogos para el Virus COVID-19

Guidance - COVID-19 Guidance for Nursing Home and Long-Term Care Facility Workers  -  Guía sobre la Preparación de los Trabajadores de los Hogares de Ancianos y Centros de Atención a Largo Plazo para el Virus COVID-19

Guidance - COVID-19 Guidance for Retail Pharmacies  -  Guía sobre la Preparación de las Farmacias Minoristas para el Virus COVID-19

Guidance - COVID-19 Guidance for Rideshare, Taxi, and Car Service Workers   -   Guía sobre la Preparación de los Trabajadores del Sector de Servicios para Compartir Viajes, Taxis e Industria de Automóviles para el Virus COVID-19

Guidance - COVID-19 Guidance on Social Distancing at Work  -  Guía de Preparación sobre el Distanciamiento Social en el Lugar de Trabajo Durante la Pandemia del Virus COVID-19

Guidance - COVID-19 Guidance for Stockroom and Loading Dock Workers  -  Guía sobre la Preparación de los Trabajadores de Almacenes y de Muelles de Carga para el Virus COVID-19

Interim Guidance from CDC and the U.S. Department of Labor - Agriculture Workers and Employers

Guidance - COVID-19 Guidance for Retail Workers   -   Guía sobre COVID-19 para Empleados Minoristas

Guidance - COVID-19 Guidance for Oil and Gas Industry Workers and Employers

Additional guidance from the Department of Labor

Lost Wages Assistance Program

Lost Wages Assistance Program Letter issued by the U.S. Department of Labor

FEMA Supplemental Lost Wages Payments Under Other Needs Assistance

Unemployment Insurance 

Unemployment Compensation (UC) for Individuals Affected by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Program Letter - To provide guidance to states regarding unemployment compensation (UC) flexibilities related to COVID-19.

U.S. Department of Labor Provides guidance on Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program to states 

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 - Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) Program Reporting Instructions and Questions and Answers

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020-Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) Program

Program Integrity for the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Program and the UI Programs Authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 – Short-Time Compensation (STC) Program Grants


Wage and Hour Division

Child Labor Laws: Clarifies how child labor laws under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) apply to the employment of children when schools are in session while physically closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Paid Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act : Provides guidance on when an employee qualifies to take paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to care for his or her child based on the closure of a summer camp, summer enrichment program or other summer program for coronavirus-related reasons.

Unemployment insurance Program Letter - Summary of Provisions under CARES Act

COVID-19 or Other Public Health Emergencies Website. This provides information on common issues employers and employees face when responding to COVID-19, including effects on wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards At and job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. 

Workers' Compensation

Guidance for federal employees, outlining Federal Employees' Compensation Act as it relates to the novel corona virus. 

Additional resources:

Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions and Answers

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 – Short-Time Compensation (STC) Program Grants - the Employment and Training Administration has issued guidance announcing the availability of $100 million in Short-Time Compensation (STC) grant funding for states

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Guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

CDC Website: COVID-19

CDC and White House Guidance: Workplaces and Businesses

Coronavirus Guidelines for America (English)    Coronavirus Guidelines for America (Español)

COVID-19- People Who Are at Higher Risk for Severe Illness

Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19

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Additional resources:

COVID-19 Guidance from the Iowa Department of Revenue

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2


COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide

Office of National Drug Control Policy COVID-19 Fact Sheet 

State workforce agencies respond to COVID-19: Information provided by the National Association of State Workforce Agencies