Iowa Workforce Development saw another record week of unemployment claims linked to those impacted by the coronavirus.
IWD director, Beth Townsend says there were more than 67,000 first time unemployment claims filed from March 29th through April 4th. “We paid a total $27,565,232 of unemployment insurance benefits last week. Most of the claims are being paid in seven to ten days from the time of their initial filing,” Townsend says.
Townsend says there is help available if you haven’t yet applied for unemployment. “You can watch a video on our website that will show you screen-by-by how to apply for these particular benefits,” according to Townsend. “You can also upload the necessary documents to prove and establish your income for 2019 or 2020, in order for us to determine what eligibility you have for unemployment benefits.”
The federal relief act provides an additional $600 for those on regular and coronavirus unemployment who qualify. “We anticipate these payments will begin to go out next week. And once they do start to go out we will post an update on our website notifying people,” she says.
Townsend has this reminder about eligibility for unemployment benefits. “You cannot voluntarily quit your job in an effort to obtain the weekly benefit or unemployment benefits,” Townsend says. “Voluntary quits are a disqualifier for unemployment benefits. You must be laid off, in a temporary layoff, or in reduced hours to qualify for unemployment insurance.”
Townsend says they are doing their best to help everyone. “Iowa Workforce Development continues to receive tens of thousands of calls a day. We are working very hard to answer all of those calls,” Townsend says. “When you call — please wait for the ringing to stop — you will hear momentary silence, and then someone will answer the phone.”
You can get information online at: www.IowaWorkorceDevelopment.gov.
— Radio Iowa
This story originally appeared on the Voice of Muscatine. Read More local stories here.