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.
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: https://www.testiowa.com
Employers or claimants with questions can email Iowa Workforce Development at firstname.lastname@example.org 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: https://www.refugeeallianceofcentraliowa.org/covid19-information
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: impactcap.org.
Below is an index of topics related to COVID-19:
- CARES Act Updates
- Information for Workers
- File for Unemployment Insurance Benefits
- Information for Employers
- Guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor
- Guidance from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Additional Resources
CARES ACT Updates
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: https://www.dol.gov/coronavirus/unemployment-insurance
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: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus
Information for Workers
Frequently Asked Questions
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
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
- An unemployment insurance scam that exploits the U.S. Department of Labor website www.CareerOneStop.org 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.
File for Unemployment insurance benefits
Apply for benefits online or over the phone
You can file for unemployment insurance benefits here: https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/file-claim-unemployment-insurance-benefits
If you have questions about your claim, please call 1-866-239-0843, or email email@example.com
How to file for benefits (tutorial videos)
How to file for unemployment insurance online
¿Necesita ayuda para presentar en línea? Vea este video:
How to file your weekly claim
Self-employed? Learn how to file for benefits if you are self-employed
Cómo puede presentar un reclamo 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
For Claimants- Report Back Pay information on this website: https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/bp
Unemployment Insurance Claimant Handbook
Information for Employers
Frequently Asked Questions for 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: https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/bp
If you have offered work to employees and your employee refuses to return to work, you must notify Iowa Workforce Development here: https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/job-offer-decline-form-employers
Resources for small business owners
IOWA BUSINESS RECOVERY ASSISTANCE
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: http://iowasbdc.org/covid-19/
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: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance
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: https://creditunions.iowa.gov/
Temporary Job Opportunities
Need temporary help? Post temporary job openings here: Employers with temporary job openings
Healthcare Jobs: Opportunities in Iowa During COVID-19 Information provided by each organization: Broadlawns, Lutheran Services of Iowa, Department of Human Services
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.
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.
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.
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
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 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
Additional guidance from the Department of Labor
Lost Wages Assistance Program
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.
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.
- Interactive Tool: This tool assists workers in determining paid sick leave or extended family and medical leave eligibility pursuant to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
- Paid Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act - Revised Temporary Rule in effect Sept. 16, 2020.
- Coronavirus Public Service Announcements (Wage and Hour Division)
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.
Guidance for federal employees, outlining Federal Employees' Compensation Act as it relates to the novel corona virus.
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
Guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2
State workforce agencies respond to COVID-19: Information provided by the National Association of State Workforce Agencies