COVID-19 & Iowa’s Implementation of DUA

By September 8, 2020COVID-19

Iowa made Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) available to eligible individuals in 11 counties as a result of a Major Disaster Declaration signed by the president on August 17, 2020. DUA expands eligibility for unemployment benefits and provides assistance to the self-employed, including business owners and farmers. DUA can also provide programs and services to disaster-affected homeowners, renters, and businesses.

The Iowa Workforce Development will accept applications for DUA from individuals whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted due to severe storms beginning August 10, 2020. Individuals from the following counties may be eligible: Benton, Boone, Cedar, Jasper, Linn, Marshall, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott, Story, and Tama. Individuals from Linn County must file DUA applications by September 24, 2020 while individuals from Benton, Boone, Cedar, Jasper, Marshall, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott, Story, and Tama counties must file for DUA by October 2, 2020.

What are the Eligibility Requirements?

Individuals must meet the following criteria to be eligible for DUA benefits:

  • Must be an unemployed or self-unemployed worker whose unemployment was caused as a direct result of the major disaster declared by the president
  • Must be a U.S. national or a qualified alien
  • Does not qualify for regular unemployment insurance benefits from any state
  • Must have worked or was self-employed in, or was scheduled to begin work or self-employment in one of the counties listed above
  • Must establish that the work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their primary source of income

Individuals who also meet the following criteria can apply for benefits:

  • Can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage or destruction to their place of employment as a direct result of a disaster
  • Cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury caused as a direct result of the disaster
  • Became the breadwinner or major support of a household because of the death of the head of the household
  • Cannot work or perform self-employment due to closure of a facility by the federal government

What’s Needed to Apply?

Individuals will need their Social Security Number, as well as the name and address of their last employer or prospective employer, to file for DUA. Please be aware that all individuals will be required to provide proof (at the time of filing or within 21 days of filing their DUA claim) that they were employed or self-employed at the time the disaster occurred or were scheduled to begin (or resume) a job or self-employment when the disaster occurred. A copy of the most recent federal income tax forms or check stubs may also be required (self-employed individuals should also provide Schedules SE and Schedule C or Schedule F).

What is the Deadline?

Individuals from Linn County must file DUA applications by September 24, 2020. Individuals from Benton, Boone, Cedar, Jasper, Marshall, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott, Story, and Tama counties must file for DUA by October 2, 2020. The state warns that applications received after the deadlines will be considered untimely, unless the individual provides good cause for filing after the deadline. Individuals can receive up to 27 weeks of DUA benefits if his/her unemployment continues to be a result of the disaster. The state will consider eligibility for DUA benefits on a week-to-week basis.

How Can You Apply?

Individuals must file a claim online at  Applications can be filed online at any time. Individuals may call the IWD Customer Service at 1-866-239-0843 should they need assistance.  Please refer to additional DUA information on the state’s website at


Our office will monitor COVID-19 updates closely and will send out additional announcements as we become aware of any updates. You can also review these updates on our website at too.

Please reach out to your representative with any questions.

Mike Parker

Author Mike Parker

Mike has 30 years of experience in unemployment cost control management, and has been with Thomas & Company for 25 years. He is the primary contact with state agencies building strong relationships, lobbying for opportunities that increase quality of service and efficiencies, and insuring compliance with state specific requirements. He works with the client service team, answering technical questions related to the unemployment insurance programs administered by the individual states and oversees the processes associated with wage audits and fraudulent claim inquiries. Mike is a member of the SIDES Operations Committee and currently sits on four Operations Committee subcommittees.

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