Employee leave policy updated for those in Iowa impacted by COVID-19 layoffs

Iowa News

DES MOINES, Iowa (KCAU) – Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) has added updates to its leave policy for filing unemployment insurance benefits after the CARES Act passed that are effective immediately.

This means employees who are or will be laid off or are unable to work for reasons related to COVID-19 will no longer be required to use all of the paid leave before to being eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.

IWD officials said the change is not retroactive and claims will not be backdated before the week of March 29 for new or existing claims by individuals who work for employers.

The previous policy had required claimants to use all the available paid leave prior to filing for unemployment benefits. IWD said that was necessary to help sustain the Iowa Unemployment Trust Fund, which is funded entirely by employers in Iowa and is the source of all benefit payments to the claimants.

The passing of the CARES Act though, provides more funding for the claimants. They also said that the new policy change reflects the evolving situation.

The CARES Act benefit programs expands the group of people eligible for unemployment benefits, including self-employed, independent contractors, non-profit employees, and gig economy workers as well as workers who have exhausted their benefits.

Iowa Workforce Development said they will continue to provide additional information as the guidance from the Department of Labor is received.

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