Iowa governor signs law to reduce duration of unemployment insurance benefits

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signed HF 2355 on June 16, reducing the maximum length of unemployment insurance payments from 26 weeks to 16 weeks starting July 3. The law also re-defines suitable work and will require claimants to accept jobs that pay less than their previous jobs after their first week of benefits. Workers who claim unemployment insurance longer will have to take jobs that pay a lower percentage of their previous wages or salaries.

Workers who file for benefits before the week of July 3 will still be eligible for up to 26 weeks of benefits, but they will have to comply with the new suitable work requirements.

Unemployment insurance is a joint federal and state program that provides temporary monetary benefits to eligible laid-off workers who are actively seeking new employment. Qualifying individuals receive unemployment compensation as a percentage of their lost wages in the form of weekly cash benefits while they search for new employment.

The federal government oversees the general administration of state unemployment insurance programs. The states control the specific features of their unemployment insurance programs, such as eligibility requirements and length of benefits.

For more information on Iowa’s unemployment insurance program, click here. For information about unemployment insurance programs across the country, click here.

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