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One of the services provided by Iowa Workforce Development to assist employers in recruiting and retaining the most qualified workforce is the Federal Bonding Program. The US Department of Labor (USDOL) created the Federal Bonding Program (FBP) in 1966. The FBP has been successfully providing fidelity bonds to employers, giving them access to job seekers and opening doors of opportunity. It is a unique hiring incentive tool that targets individuals with barriers to employment.

The Federal Bonding Program benefits the employer by offering bond coverage provided at no cost. The bond coverage is in effect the day the new employee begins working and continues for six months. The employer profits from the worker’s skills and abilities without taking the risk of potential theft or dishonesty. There are no documents to sign or paperwork to complete. The bond has no deductible and reimburses the employer for any loss due to employee theft or dishonesty within the specified six-month period.

The Federal Bonding Program benefits the job seeker by providing job opportunities for those who have been or may be denied commercial bonding coverage due to their previous personal or employment history. The bond promotes confidence in a job seeker who needs a break to participate in employment and needs a chance to show that he or she can be a productive worker. It provides fidelity bond insurance for up to six months for any job seeker with barriers to employment and applies to any job except self-employment. Bonding coverage is provided at no cost to the job seeker.


Individuals who are not commercially bondable due to past questionable behavior which casts doubt upon their credibility or honesty, or who have committed fraudulent or dishonest acts are eligible. This includes:

  • Justice-involved men, women, youth
  • Individuals with a poor financial credit history or who have declared bankruptcy
  • Individuals recovering from substance use disorders
  • Individuals dishonorably discharged from the military
  • Economically disadvantaged youth and adults who lack work histories
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Family (TANF) recipients
  • Any job seeker with barriers to employment


  • The job seeker must have a job offer with a start date
  • The applicant must be of legal working age.
  • Federal taxes must be automatically deducted from the paycheck.
  • Ensure that the job is suitable for the applicant.
  • Self-employed and/or franchised individuals are not eligible.


Bonds are issued in increments of $5,000.00 for a period of six months and the maximum amount is $25,000.00. $5,000.00 is generally sufficient to cover most circumstances.

  • Coverage is based on the potential or estimated risk to the employer for financial loss, which could result from dishonest acts by the individual while on the job (excluding vehicles).
  • Bonds in excess of $5,000.00 should be limited to positions where the employer may lose more than $5,000.00 in money or property at one time (the requester should base a bond request in excess of $5,000.00 upon reasonable justification).


  • Bonds can be issued to any employer regardless of whether the company has or has not commercially purchased a Fidelity Bond.
  • Specific bond coverage includes theft, forgery, larceny or embezzlement.
  • Bonds do not provide coverage for situations due to poor workmanship, job injuries or work accidents.
  • It is not a bail bond, court bond, contract bond, performance bond, name bond, blanket bond or license bond.
  • Bonds are not transferable from one employer to another.
  • Bonds can be applied to any job, any state, any employee.


The application process is simple and quick. Employers just need to contact your State of Iowa Federal Bonding Program Coordinator to request a fidelity bond.  Employer and job seeker information is collected over the phone and the bond is issued online.  The employer will receive a copy of the bond via U.S. mail within 10 business days.

If you have additional questions or to request a bond, please contact:

Iowa Federal Bonding Program Coordinator
Iowa Workforce Development
1000 E Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50319
Phone: 515-725-3891
Contact Form: Workforce Services Form