DES MOINES – Iowa’s continued economic recovery has led to a decrease in the state’s unemployment rate. As such, the three month average rate has fallen below the required six percent for Iowa to qualify for the Extended Unemployment Compensation (EUC) Tier 3 federal benefits program. This will decrease the additional weeks available to Iowans from 47 to 34 after January 14th.
“While Iowa is fortunate to have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, it does effect the overall benefit eligibility for the state,” indicated department director Teresa Wahlert. “The change in Iowa’s eligibility will affect approximately 4,200 individual in the first quarter of 2012.”
Iowa’s EUC program has three tiers, each with varying weeks of maximum eligibility. Tier 1 carries a maximum of 20 weeks; Tier 2 a maximum of 14 weeks, and Tier 3 a maximum of 13 weeks. The week ending January 14, 2012 will be the last week in which EUC claimants in Iowa can establish Tier 3 eligibility. After January 14, 2011 approximately 300 individuals per week will exhaust Tier 2 of EUC and will not be eligible for Tier 3. Claimants will receive written notification prior to the expiration of all available benefits. Individuals currently receiving benefits on Tier 3 will not be affected by this change.
Iowa Workforce Development provides services to Iowans and businesses through a network of 16 regional IowaWORKS centers, 3 satellite offices and over 500 Access Points throughout the state. Additional services are available 8:00 AM-8:00 PM Monday through Friday and 10:00 AM-2:00 PM on Saturday via live chat at an Access Point or toll-free at (866) 239-0843.