Iowans' Jobless And Injury Benefits Increase


For Immediate Release
Unemployment Statistics: Deb Ostrem (515) 281-8185
Unemployment Benefits: Joe Bervid (515) 281-8117
Workers’ Compensation: Chris Godfrey (515) 281-3504

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DES MOINES, IOWA—Maximum weekly benefits paid to jobless Iowans and to workers injured on the job will increase July 2, announced Iowa Workforce Development.

The rise in benefits was triggered by an increase in wages covered by unemployment insurance. The average annual wage for insured Iowa workers increased to $ 32,867.66 in 2005 from the 2004 rate of $ 31,878.45.

The new benefit payment schedules will apply to people who file new unemployment insurance claims after July 2, 2006 and to workers who are injured on or after July 1, 2006.

Under Iowa law, the number of people covered by unemployment insurance and their gross wages are primary elements of a formula Iowa Workforce Development uses each year to compute maximum and minimum benefit amounts paid to jobless workers. The new rates are:

Number of

Maximum Weekly

Benefit July 2, 2006
Minimum Weekly

Benefit July 2, 2006
Current Maximum

Weekly Benefit
0 $ 334 $ 50 $ 324
1 $ 347 $ 52 $ 337
2 $ 360 $ 54 $ 349
3 $ 379 $ 57 $ 367
4 or more $ 410 $ 60 $ 398

Iowa Workforce Development officials noted that about half of those eligible for unemployment insurance benefits have enough earnings to qualify for the maximum benefit.

Out of an estimated total labor force of 1,659,800, a total of 1,428,533 workers were covered by the Iowa unemployment insurance program in 2005.

Beginning July 1, the workers’ compensation maximum weekly benefit for temporary total disability, healing period, permanent total disability and death will rise to $1,264. For permanent partial disability, the weekly maximum will be $1,163.

IWD’s core services include job placement services for individuals; worker recruitment assistance to employers; training services to low-income and disadvantaged Iowans; worker protection and safety programs (inspections, consultation and education services); unemployment insurance programs and services; information regarding choices about careers, industries, labor availability and more; workers’ compensation benefits/entitlement; and technical assistance for employers. Services, in most instances, are provided at no charge or for a nominal charge to the customer.