Being unemployed can be a very difficult time in you and your family’s life. It can be difficult concentrating on find the next right job for you while still worrying about your other responsibilities. During this time, unemployment insurance benefits can be extremely helpful. If you live in Iowa, you can apply to receive benefits through the Iowa Workforce Development.

How to Qualify for Unemployment

To be eligible for unemployment insurance, you have to be blameless as to why you are out of work. Rather, you must have either quit because of a valid reason relating to your job or been fired without having done anything wrong. Beyond that, you must have earned a minimum amount of money in the past 15-18 months. Additionally, you have to be able to work and available to take a job. You also have to be looking for work actively. That means you have to at least be registered for work online and through your local IowaWorks office.

In Iowa, you can claim a spouse or child as a dependent on your unemployment insurance benefits application. By doing so, you may be entitled to more money.

How to Apply for Unemployment

You can file for unemployment benefits as soon as you are no longer working. There are two ways that you can apply, either online or at a local IowaWorks office. When filling out your application, you will need your Social Security number or Alien Registration Card. You will also have to provide your last employer’s name, address, and phone number, as well as the start and end date of your job. If you received any type of bonus or severance pay, then you will be required to include information about it.

If your last job was in the military, then you have to provide your DD-214 (Member 4) forms. Similarly, if your last job was with the federal government, you have to provide your Standard Form 8. If you are adding dependents to your claim, you have to provide their names, address, dates of birth, and social security numbers.

If you take a break in your benefits, then you have to file a new claim. Generally, it is determined that you have take a break if you were unemployed, stopped reporting your unemployment status, thereby letting your benefits lapse, and now want to reapply.

How Long Does Unemployment Last?

Unemployment in Iowa lasts for 26 weeks. During that time, you have certify every week either online or by phone. You have to make 2 job contacts every week either by phone, online, mail, or in person. Keep a record of all contacts because you may be required to provide them. Some people may be chosen to participate in either Reemployment Services or Reemployment and Eligibility Services, which will further aid them in obtaining a new job.

What Can I Do If I Run Out of Unemployment?

Some people can qualify for an additional 26 weeks of unemployment benefits through the Training Extension Benefits (TEB) program. To be eligible for TEB, you have to be in school or in a training program. You have to meet all other unemployment requirements and have to apply for TEB when you are close to finishing up your regular unemployment. Additionally, you are only eligible if your school or training course is for a highly demanded occupation or high-tech occupation or if the program is a GED program.

What If My Application Was Denied?

If the Iowa Workforce Development refuses to grant you unemployment insurance, you can request that the denial be appealed to an administrative judge. The deadline to appeal will be listed on your decision paperwork. If you disagree with the judge’s decision, you can appeal to the Employment Appeal Board. If you still are not satisfied after these two appeals, you can appeal that decision through the Iowa District Court or ask the Employment Appeal Board for a rehearing.

Where Can I Find the Right Lawyer?

If you are applying for unemployment insurance benefits, you will likely need an Iowa employment lawyer to help you obtain your unemployment benefits. This is especially true if you are appealing a denial of your application