If you’ve lost your job, Iowa Workforce Development is here to help and has the tools you need to begin your reemployment path.


First, Make Sure You’re Eligible

To qualify for benefits, claimants must:

  • Have lost their job through no fault of their own and be totally or partially unemployed.
  • Have worked and earned a minimum amount of wages over the last 15 to 18 months documented in the UI system.
  • Be able and available for work and actively seeking work.
  • Be able to verify identify, either via online verification or provided documents 
  • Be registered for work and fulfill weekly work search requirements in their job search (minor exemptions can apply).

Questions? Get help with the resources below, or contact UI Customer Service:

UI customer service: 1-866-239-0843 or uiclaimshelp@iwd.iowa.gov

Note: To ensure faster service, please have the following information ready when contacting IWD (click here)


Prepare to Apply for Unemployment

Ensure that you have required information ready to go:

  • Social security number
  • Name, payroll address and telephone number of your last employer
  • Start and end dates of your last job; information on 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
  • 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


  • You will be asked to verify your identity by answering security questions.
  • 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.

Submit Your Unemployment Application

Applying for UI benefits can be done during the following times:

  • Monday – Friday: 6:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday: 6:00 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Iowans can apply in the following places:


Next Steps and the Reemployment Process

After applying, it may take several weeks to process your application and start receiving benefits. In the meantime, please continue to do the following:

File a weekly claim every week online while your claim is processing.

  • Monday through Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
  • Sunday:  8:00 a.m. - 11:30 p.m.

When applying for UI benefits, you must also register for work separately and complete weekly reemployment activities. Learn about the reemployment process at this link.

Then, head to the IowaWORKS website to get started:

Fulfill your weekly work search requirements. You should track your work search in a log. For more information, visit the links below.


New Changes To The Unemployment Process

Please Be Aware:

  • IWD has implemented its Reemployment Case Management System (RCM) to provide enhanced services that support claimants earlier in the unemployment process. Learn about RCM and the new work search requirements at this link
  • IWD is modernizing its identity verification process with ID.me, a trusted technology partner that specializes in digital identity protection. Effective January 2, 2024, claimants can begin to utilize ID.me while filing a claim for a faster verification process. Learn how to use ID.me at this link: Using ID.me for Identity Verification.