In light of the CARES Act, the Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) implemented updates to its leave policy for filing unemployment insurance benefits. Effective immediately, employees who are or will be laid off, or are unable to work for reasons related to COVID-19, will no longer be required to use all paid leave prior to being eligible for benefits. This change is not retroactive and claims will not be backdated prior to the week of March 29, 2020 for any new or existing claims.
The state’s policy typically required claimants to use all available paid leave prior to filing for benefits and was necessary to help sustain the Iowa Unemployment Trust Fund, which is funded entirely by employers doing business in Iowa and is the source of all benefit payments to claimants. The CARES Act provided a significant source of additional funding for claimants and this policy change reflects the evolving situation of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act benefit programs will expand the group of individuals eligible for benefits to include the self-employed, independent contractors, nonprofit employees, gig economy workers, as well as workers who have exhausted their benefits. The IWD will continue to share more information as it is received from the Department of Labor and will post updates on their website at https://www.IowaWorkforceDevelopment.gov.
Our office will monitor COVID-19 updates closely and will send out additional announcements as we become aware of any these updates. You can also review these updates on our website at http://covid19.thomas-and-company.com/covid-19/ too.
Please reach out to your representative with any questions.