Reynolds announces assistance for COVID-19 related layoffs

Monday, March 16, 2020
Gov. Kim Reynolds

Individuals can file for unemployment insurance

DES MOINES — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Monday assistance for workers and employers impacted by layoffs related to COVID-19. The guidance includes information for employees filing for unemployment insurance claims, as well as information on programs available for employers.

“Iowa has incredible employers accommodating the needs of Iowans during the disruption caused by COVID-19,” Reynolds said. “The state of Iowa is doing everything we can to ease the process and shorten the time it will take for Iowans to receive unemployment benefits. All of our state agencies continue to work as one team to lessen the impact COVID-19 will have on our economy and our people.”

Bob Becker, with the Iowa Workforce Development office, said his Spencer office is still being brought up to speed on the plan.

“We have had people affected by COVID come in and file,” he said. “There have been people through the schools and such, cooks and bus drivers, who aren’t on contract like a teacher that would be able to do that.”

Becker said without more specifics regarding specific details and information he did not wish to “muddy the water” but instead encouraged anyone who might think they are eligible to stop by the Spencer office or call the center at 262-1971.

Unemployment insurance claims can be filed by those who are laid off due to COVID-19 or have to stay home to self-isolate or care for family. Individuals can receive unemployment benefits, provided they meet all other eligibility requirements. Those requirements essentially include working for wages from an employer who claims them as an employee in six of the last 18 months and someone who has earned at least $2,500 in the same time period.

More specific explanation of benefit eligibility can be found at:

Claimants can expect to receive payment within seven to 10 days after the date the claim is filed.

Claims that are filed and identified as a direct or indirect result of COVID-19, will not be charged to employers. Fact-finding interviews for these claims will be waived and not be held although employers will be notified of claims received.

IWD will process unemployment insurance payments to ensure payment will continue to be paid in a timely manner.

“Iowa Workforce Development is taking steps to reduce the impact of these claims on employers who have had to temporarily lay off staff due to closures or slowdowns,” IWD Director Beth Townsend said. “IWD encourages all employers to utilize paid leave and telework options for employees before utilizing temporary layoffs. Iowa Workforce Development will continue to monitor the situation, working with our stakeholders and updates will be released on our webpage.”

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  • I am so happy that the governor is doing this-I live in SD and they aren't doing anything. the schools were closed for two weeks---everything else still open-bars-eating places back to school next week!

    -- Posted by iowagirl on Wed, Mar 18, 2020, at 2:55 PM
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