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Iowa increases weekly benefits to unemployed, injured workers

Virus Outbreak Unemployment Numbers
A now hiring sign flaps in the wind in front of an Iowa Staffing building, Wednesday, May 6, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. Nearly 3.2 million laid-off workers applied for unemployment benefits last week as the business shutdowns caused by the viral outbreak deepened the worst U.S. economic catastrophe in decades. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) Charlie Neibergall/AP

Iowa increases weekly benefits to unemployed, injured workers

July 08, 07:00 PM July 08, 07:01 PM

Higher weekly benefits payments for Iowans who are unemployed or were injured on the job began July 4, Iowa Workforce Development announced.

Only individuals who file new unemployment insurance claims for the week beginning July 4 and those who were injured on or since July 1 qualify for the new benefit payment schedules, according to an IWD news release. Individuals currently receiving benefits from state or federal programs will continue to receive the same weekly benefit amount.

As of July 1, the maximum weekly workers compensation benefit for temporary total disability, healing period, permanent total disability and death rose to $2,005. The weekly maximum for permanent partial disability is $1,845.

Maximum unemployment benefits are now $531 (weekly) for those without dependents (up from $493), $551 for one dependent (up from $512), $571 for two dependents (up from $531), $601 for three dependents (up from $559), and $651 for four or more dependents (up from $605). Minimum benefits range from $79 to $95 weekly, again based on the number of dependents.

The number of people covered by unemployment insurance and their gross wage contribute to the formula for benefit amounts for jobless workers. The average annual wage for insured Iowa workers increased to $52,130.71 in 2020, up from $48,455.86 in 2019, the release said. The 2022 taxable wage base will be $34,800.

About half of those eligible for unemployment insurance benefits qualified for the maximum benefit, according to Iowa Workforce Development officials. The increase followed the statutorily required annual review of annual wages and the payment schedules apply to individuals who file new unemployment insurance claims, the release said.

The top job postings on IowaWorks.gov include those for registered nurses, nursing assistants, customer service representatives, retail salespersons and licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses as of July 1.

Iowa ranks 21

st

nationwide for the quickest unemployment recovery since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, WalletHub reported July 1. Iowa ranks 10

th

for progress between the previous week and the week of June 21, 2021. The state’s initial unemployment claims for the week ending June 21, 2021, were 4.9% lower than they were the week ending June 24, 2019, according to the report.

Information about the benefits is available in the 2020/2021 Unemployment Insurance Claimant Handbook at www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov.

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