Iowa updates policy for layoffs amid coronavirus

Posted at 10:18 AM, Mar 30, 2020

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Those who are laid off or cannot work because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will no longer have to use all of their paid time off before being eligible for unemployment.

The Iowa Workforce Development has implemented updates to its leave policy for filing unemployment insurance benefits following the enactment of the CARES Act.

"This change is not retroactive, and claims will not be backdated prior to the week of March 29, 2020, for new or existing claims by individuals who work for employers," the group said in a press release Monday. "The policy requiring claimants to use all available paid leave prior to filing for unemployment benefits 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 enactment of the CARES Act has provided a significant source of additional funding for claimants, and this policy change reflects the evolving situation."

The CARES Act benefit programs will expand the group of people eligible for unemployment benefits to include the self-employed, independent contractors, nonprofit employees, and gig economy workers as well as workers who have exhausted their benefits.

Due to the complexity of program requirements, this process will take time. As the programs become available, IWD will post updates on its website, and share through media outlets and social media.

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