Steps & Responsibilities to File an Unemployment Insurance Claim

Required Information

Before beginning the application process, you need to have the following information available:

  • Social Security Number
  • Full legal name(s), SSN, dates of birth and relationship of any dependents, up to a maximum of four
  • Complete mailing address, including ZIP code (including apartment or lot number)
  • Telephone number
  • Email address (optional)
  • Most recent employer as it appears on your pay stubs or W-2 forms.
    • If you have worked for a temporary/staffing agency, you should list the name of the agency and not the name of the client you were assigned to work at
  • Your start and end dates with your most recent employer
  • Your reason for leaving your last employer
    • For purposes of unemployment; a lack of work is not considered a discharge
  • If you are not a United States citizen, your employment authorization number and expiration date
  • If you served in the military during the past 18 months, DD 214 Member #4 Form.
  • If you worked for the federal government as a civilian employee in the last 18 months, Standard Form 8 or Standard Form 50

Filing for Unemployment Insurance is a Two-Step Process

Step One: File Your Initial Claim Application

You must file an initial claim application online or at your local IowaWORKS Center during the first week you wish to be paid; you will not receive payments for any weeks prior to the effective date of your claim. No exceptions. The unemployment week is Sunday through Saturday.  All claims are assigned a Sunday effective date for the week the claim is filed. If your claim is successfully submitted, a confirmation page will show with your confirmation number. Save this confirmation number for your records. You may file your initial claim on Saturday or Sunday from 6:00 AM to 11:30 PM or Monday to Friday from 6:00 AM to 6:30 PM.  

After you successfully submit the application, you will see a confirmation page that includes:

  • A printable copy of your confirmation number
  • Instructions on when to begin filing your weekly claim

Identity Verification

During the initial application process you will be asked to verify and authenticate your identity.  You will be asked a few questions that only you know the answers to.  If you answer the questions correctly our system will instantly verify your identity. If you do not answer the questions correctly; we will require that you provide us with documents that can confirm your identity.   You will be required to complete the verification process every 366 days.

Your claim will not become valid until your identity has been verified by us.  Instant ID Verification can only be done when you file your application online.   If you have not provided the documents to verify your identity within seven calendar days of filing your claim, your claim will be locked and possibly voided. If your claim is voided you must submit another claim for benefits. The effective date of the claim filed after your claim has been voided would be the Sunday of the week in which you file the second claim.  

Step Two: File Your Weekly Claim

Filing a weekly claim online is a requirement of continued eligibility for unemployment insurance.  If you do not file your weekly claim, you will not receive payment for that week.  No exceptions.  You may file your weekly claim on Sunday from 8:00 AM to 11:30 PM or Monday to Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM. There is no weekly reporting available on Saturday.  

Preparing to file the Weekly Claim

You should have the following information available when filing your weekly claim:

  • SSN
  • PIN
  • Total amount of gross wages (before deductions) earned during the week
  • Total amount of gross holiday, vacation and severance pay, if applicable

Personal Identification Number

A four-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN) is required to file your weekly claim.

You will create this number the first time you file a weekly claim. The PIN cannot be the same 4 numbers (i.e. 1111 or 3333) or numbers in a consecutive order (i.e. 1234 or 6789). This PIN protects your claim from being accessed by anyone other than you.  It should be kept secure. You should choose a PIN that is easy to remember, since you will use this number each week to file a continued claim for benefits.

You must keep your PIN confidential and should never let anyone file your weekly claim for you. You should contact IWD to reset your PIN if it has been compromised or if your account is locked.

When to File Weekly Claim

Start filing your weekly claim the first Sunday after filing your initial claim.

Example: Your initial claim was filed on Wednesday. You would need to do your first weekly filing on Sunday.

 

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Start of UI claim week 1

Apply for unemployment the first week you wish to be paid

First day to file your weekly claim for  week 1

8:00am-11:30pm

File weekly claim for  week 1

8am-5:30 pm

File weekly claim for  week 1

8am-5:30 pm

File weekly claim for week 1

8am-5:30 pm

File weekly claim for  week 1

8am-5:30 pm

File weekly claim for  week 1

8am-5:30 pm

No weekly claim filing available

First day to file your weekly claim for

week 2

8:00am-11:30pm

File weekly claim for week 2

8am-5:30pm

File weekly claim for week 2

8am-5:30pm

File weekly claim for week 2

8am-5:30pm

File weekly claim for week 2

8am-5:30pm

File weekly claim for week 2

8am-5:30pm

No weekly claim filing available

First day to file your weekly claim for

week 3

8:00am-11:30pm

File weekly claim for week 3

8am-5:30pm

File weekly claim for week 3

8am-5:30pm

File weekly claim for week 3

8am-5:30pm

File weekly claim for week 3

8am-5:30pm

File weekly claim for week 3

8am-5:30pm

No weekly claim filing available

Confirmation of Weekly Claim Submitted 

You will receive a confirmation page (shown below) informing you that your weekly claim has been successfully submitted.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/N592-k9XfZ01jSaO9qIe7JxhoNqq95StJMaXTMw3Df07Ta171RfXzg2SZZ61djn3NYY34BfpMnlvaHpKvEAXQy0ohKHmPgcJrbbQolqtf2yLxqkIR1lTUW9taAypYloAN_nUgso7

You should check to make sure your weekly claim was successfully filed, how much you will receive, and when you will receive your payment by using the Benefit Inquiry tool.  This is available Tuesdays through Fridays from 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM.  If you miss a weekly claim filing, you will be required to reactivate your claim.  You will not be paid for any weeks you did not file timely.

What to Report on the Weekly Claim?

You must report all gross earnings and gross wages on the weekly claim.  Wages are reportable when earned, not when paid. Gross earnings or gross wages are your earnings before taxes or other payroll deductions are made. For additional information, please refer to the page on reportable income.

Claim Effective Date

The benefit week runs from Sunday to Saturday. The effective date of all unemployment insurance claims is the Sunday of the week in which the application was filed. The effective date of a claim will not be changed for applications that were not filed in a timely manner.

Eligibility Requirements

To meet the preliminary eligibility requirements, you must:

  • Be totally or partially unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Have earned wages in covered employment of at least $1,660 in one quarter and at least $830 in a different quarter (program year July 7, 2019 - July 4, 2020)
  • Have total base period wages of at least 1.25 times the wages earned in the highest base period quarter
  • Be able and available for work

To remain eligible for unemployment insurance benefits, you must:

  • Be actively seeking work (work search may be waived if certain criteria are met)
  • Be registered for work online with IowaJobs or at your nearest IowaWORKS center
  • Keep a record of all work search contacts and be ready to provide a copy if requested
  • Notify us on the weekly claim of any job offers you refused
  • Notify us if you have quit or are discharged from any job while claiming UI benefits
  • Notify us if you move or leave the area for more than three working days
  • Report all wages when they are earned, not when payment is received
  • Notify us if you receive workers’ compensation or a private pension
  • Notify us if you enroll in or start school

Reactivating a Claim

You can start and stop claiming unemployment insurance benefits as many times as necessary during the benefit year. This is called a break in reporting status. Any break in reporting requires you to refile your claim application online during the week you want to start collecting benefits again. Any employment during the break must be reported.

Don’t forget to file your weekly claim every week. If you fail to file timely each week, you will not be eligible for payment until you reactivate your claim again.

Individual