An article in the Des Moines Register today reported that the percentage of unemployed Iowans fell to 4.2% in September. This is down 0.3% from August and up 0.4% from a year ago. The national unemployment rate is 6.1%. While Iowans seem to be better off than the rest of the country, Iowans in the 4.2% may be asking themselves “now what?”
If you are in the 4.2% of the population file an unemployment claim with Iowa Workforce Development. You may file a claim online or in person at your local IWD Center. The IWD has an informative guide which explains general questions about unemployment benefits. Benefit amounts depend on the amount of gross wages and the number of dependents you have. The maximum weekly benefit one can receive ranges from $361.00-$443.00.
To be eligible for benefits you must have lost your job through no fault of your own. In general, this means you must not have been discharged for misconduct. Misconduct is a defined term under the Iowa Administrative Code and is a source of a volume of case law.
During your benefits period you need to continually seek new employment. IWD will require you to submit a certain number of applications per week to employers. There are some exceptions, however, in most cases you will need to be actively seeking a new position. If you fail to seek new employment your benefits may cease. Your benefits may also cease if you fail to accept an offer of employment for a suitable position.
Unemployment benefits may not put you in a new position, but do provide some relief while finding a new position.