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How Long Do I Have to Work For to Collect Unemployment in Iowa?

Iowa requires you to have earned at least 1.25 times your HQW within the entire base period. You must also earn 0.5 times your HQW in a another quarter. Further, your the minimum required amount for the HQW is determined by taking 3.5% of Iowa’s statewide Annual Average Wages (AAW). This causes the minimum HQW to be $1,400 and the minimum base period earnings to be $2,100. The additional 0.5 times HQW must meet the minimum amount required of $700.

Therefore, to qualify for unemployment insurance in Iowa, you must have worked during at least two quarters of the base period. One of the quarters in which you worked must have a total wages earned of at least $1,400, and another quarter must have a minimum total of $700. Finally, you must earn a total of at least $2,100 in the base period in order to qualify for unemployment insurance.

Iowa offers both an extended base period and an alternate base period. The alternate base period uses the last four completed calendar quarters of the base period (instead of the first four). The extended base period is available to those who were disabled, received worker’s compensation, and file a claim within 4 weeks of the termination of worker’s compensation benefits.

In Iowa an employer or employing unit is covered under unemployment insurance if it paid at least $1,500 in wages during any calendar quarter in the current or previous calendar year. Further, an employer/employing unit is also covered under unemployment insurance if it paid wages to at least one employee and employed said worker at least one day per week during the 20 weeks of the current or previous calendar year.

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