File a Claim for Unemployment Insurance Benefits

Eligibility Requirements for Unemployment Insurance Benefits

To be eligible for UI benefits the claimant must:

  • be totally or partially unemployed
  • have worked and earned a minimum amount of wages in work covered by UI in the last 15 to 18 months
  • have lost his or her job through no fault of their own
  • be able and available for work
  • NEW! Verify your identity through online verification or provide required documents
  • be actively seeking work (work search may be waived if certain criteria are met)
  • be registered for work (unless the work search requirement is waived).


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Protect Yourself from Scams

IWD does not ask for unemployment insurance overpayments to be paid by credit card or gift cards. Individuals who have received an unemployment insurance overpayment will be notified by mail delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.

In addition, IWD does not request sensitive account information through email communications. Individuals filing for unemployment insurance benefits will receive pertinent information regarding their account through the U.S. Postal Service.

Information required when filing for Unemployment Insurance (UI) Benefits

The following information is needed when filing for UI benefits:

  • social security number
  • name, payroll address and telephone number of your last employer
  • start and end dates of your last job
  • whether or not you will receive vacation pay, severance, etc.
  • alien registration number (if not a U.S. citizen or permanent refugee)
  • DD-214 (Member 4) if you served in the U.S. military during the last 18 months
  • Verifying your identity by answering security questions
  • Standard Form 8 (SF-8) if you worked for the federal government in the last 18 months
  • name(s), date(s) of birth, and social security number(s) of any dependents that are claimed as exemptions on your federal income tax return
    • Spouses may be claimed as a dependent if their gross wages were $120.00 or less in the week prior to filing your claim.
    • Self-employment does not count as gross wages for dependent purposes.

How To Apply for UI benefits

You may file for UI benefits online (the fastest and most efficient way) or at a local IowaWORKS Center.

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Work registration

You may be required to register for work.  You can do this at your local IowaWORKS center or online.   If you have already registered for work on,  and have created a Employer Searchable resume you have met this requirement and no action is needed.

To Register for Work in Iowa, you must:

  • Complete registration and a resume using the IowaWorks website at

    • Complete registration by logging into ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ and completing all questions.
    • Create a resume by clicking on "Resume Builder" from the left navigation bar or in the "Job Seeker Services" box on the dashboard/
    • Click on the green button "Create New Resume".
    • Select "Create Comprehensive Resume" and click "Next".
    • Select "Yes, my resume will be available online for employers to view" and click "Next".
    • Complete each section of the resume thoroughly
    • When completed, select the green button "Save Resume & Return".

For any questions about completing your work registration or setting up your resume, contact your local IowaWORKS center

Failure to complete the online application will result in the denial of your unemployment benefits if you are required to look for work.  

Additional information is available.  Review these Frequently Asked Questions about Unemployment Insurance. 

For additional information or to better understand the eligibility requirements, please refer to the Unemployment Insurance Benefits Handbook or contact Customer Service at 866-239-0843.