The government limits the amount of unemployment a claimant receives. Each state sets a minimum and maximum weekly benefit amount a claimant may receive. These amounts are often based on a number that changes from time to time, such as the state’s minimum wage or the state’s average wage. In Iowa, you can receive unemployment benefits for a maximum of 26 weeks. Each state sets its own rules for how long unemployment benefits last. Until quite recently, virtually all states offered a maximum of 26 weeks of benefits. In the last five or six years, however, some states have changed their rules on the duration of benefits (in most cases, to offer benefits for a shorter period of time).
Federal & State Taxes
Unemployment benefits are considered taxable income at the federal level, as well as at some state and local levels. The state of Iowa fully taxes any unemployment benefits you receive throughout the year, which may come as a surprise since you aren’t technically earning a wage.
Most claimants receive their first payment in about three weeks after applying for benefits, if they meet all of the eligibility and monetary requirements. It takes three weeks because after your claim is initially processed, your employers of the last 18 months are notified of your claim and have ten days to protest. Claimants should be cautioned because this is not a guaranteed time frame as delays in payment and processing are commonplace.
It’s Not Forever
As stated previously, in most states unemployment benefits are limited to 26 weeks. Although you may receive these benefits up to 26 weeks, in most situations, it is best to terminate these benefits as soon as you are able. There is usually a time limit on how long you can collect, again it varies from state to state but a general time tends to be around the 26-week range.
Must Stay in State
You must physically remain in the state you are collecting unemployment benefits from. This also applies to students, meaning if you are enrolled as an out-of-state student, you must remain in the state of the school you are attending while receiving benefits.
When you receive unemployment benefits, you will not receive any insurance or additional benefits. You as the recipient of unemployment benefits are wholly responsible for any insurance you need. If you don’t want to continue the burden of supplying your own insurance, finding new employment is your best solution. The majority of employers in your area provide a benefits package which includes various types of insurance.
Employers are always wary of any gaps in your employment. The best way to improve your future employment prospects is to keep employment gaps to a minimum. This allows you to explain the circumstances that lead to the unemployment, and shows that you were not willing to sit back and not improve your standing.