Unemployment Insurance Extension Under CARES Act

Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act:  CARES Act

President Trump signed into law the provisions of the CARES Act.  This law increases the availability of unemployment insurance benefits to those that are self-employed, contract workers, those ineligible for state unemployment benefits or have exhausted benefits.

These additional benefits are not yet available. We are in the process of making changes to the unemployment insurance program. We will keep you updated through our website, media outlets and social media. Our customer service representatives do not have additional information at this time.

If your benefits are affected, we will notify you.

NOTE: 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"


Question: Who is eligible for unemployment benefits under the CARES Act?

Answer: Individuals who are self-employed, independent contract workers, nonprofit employees, and gig economy workers, those ineligible for state unemployment benefits or have exhausted benefits.


Question:  If I am self-employed, do I need to file an application for unemployment?

Answer:  Yes, you will first need to file a claim online to see if you are eligible for a regular Iowa claim.  After you have filed an application, continue to check our website for updates on what additional information is needed.


Question:  If I am receiving benefits, do I need to file an application for unemployment to receive the additional $600 benefit payment?

Answer:  No, if you have filed an unemployment application and it is being processed or you have an existing unemployment claim, there is nothing else you need to do to receive the additional benefits. We will begin issuing those payments as they become available.


Question:  I was receiving unemployment through last week and my benefits have exhausted.  I am still within my benefit year and was told I can’t file again until my claim expires.  Do I need to file an unemployment application to receive the additional money that was passed in legislation for the CARES Act?

Answer:  No, you do not need to file a new application.  When the extended benefits are available, additional information will be posted on our website.  All claimants that exhausted benefits after 02/02/20,  will be processed for the extended benefits.

Question: How do I know if I qualify for unemployment benefits?

Answer:  We will notify you after you file an unemployment application. We cannot determine if you qualify until we process your application.


Additional Information: On Saturday, the U.S. Department of Labor issued guidance in the form of a question and answer resource to clarify key requirements in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act around the new paid sick leave mandate and expanded family and medical leave. These new provisions take effect on April 1, 2020 and expire on December 31, 2020.

State Impact: With questions arising around how the new mandate would impact state and local governments employing first responders, the guidance provides clarity in Question 38 by stating: “If you employ a health care provider or an emergency responder you are not required to pay such employee paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave on a case-by-case basis. And certain small businesses may exempt employees if the leave would jeopardize the company’s viability as a going concern.”

Additional FAQs from the U.S. Department of Laborhttps://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions