The CARES Act signed into law by the President is the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. There are two parts of the CARES Act that could be important for you.
- Unemployment Insurance (UI)
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
The CARES Act increases the availability of unemployment insurance benefits to those that are self-employed, contract workers, non-profit employees, gig economy workers, those ineligible for state unemployment benefits, or who have exhausted benefits. (Note – expect longer wait times due to a surge in calls. Check with Iowa Workforce Development for latest updates).
Have materials you need to file for unemployment ready
To reduce frustration, gather all the materials you need prior to your call. To submit a claim for unemployment or pandemic unemployment assistance, you will need the following:
- Your social security number
- Name, payroll address and telephone number of your last employer
- Start and end dates of your last job
- Whether or not you will receive vacation pay, severance, etc.
- Alien registration number (if you are 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
- Be able to verify your identity by answering security questions
- 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 on your federal income tax return
- 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.
Qualifying for CARES Act benefits
Question: Who is eligible for unemployment benefits under the CARES Act?
Answer: Individuals who are self-employed, independent contract workers, nonprofit employees, and gig economy workers, those ineligible for state unemployment benefits or have exhausted benefits.
Question: If I am self-employed, do I need to file an application for unemployment?
Answer: Yes, you will first need to file a claim online to see if you are eligible for a regular Iowa claim. After you have filed an application, continue to check the Iowa Workforce Development website for updates on what additional information is needed.
Question: If I am receiving benefits, do I need to file an application for unemployment to receive the additional $600 benefit payment?
Answer: No, if you have filed an unemployment application and it is being processed or you have an existing unemployment claim, there is nothing else you need to do to receive the additional benefits. They will begin issuing those payments as they become available.
Question: I was receiving unemployment through last week and my benefits have exhausted. I am still within my benefit year and was told I can’t file again until my claim expires. Do I need to file an unemployment application to receive the additional money that was passed in legislation for the CARES Act?
Answer: No, you do not need to file a new application. When the extended benefits are available, additional information will be posted on our website. All claimants that exhausted benefits after 02/02/20, will be processed for the extended benefits.
Question: How do I know if I qualify for unemployment benefits?
Answer: You will be notified you after you file an unemployment application. It cannot be determined if you qualify until they process your application.
We know you’d rather be at work
Lastly, we hope can get back to work quickly. If you would like to look for other employment options, please check out our jobs on Corridor Careers or consider attending our virtual career fair, April 9th from 3-6pm. Take care of your mental health during this trying time, we wish you all the best.