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How much can i receive in unemployment benefits

how much can i receive in unemployment benefits

Weekly Benefit Amount

Your Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA) is determined by your gross wages from all covered employers in the high quarter (HQ) of your base period and by the number of dependents you claim.

If you have:

  • 0 dependents, your WBA is 1/23 of your HQ with a maximum of $408.
  • 1 dependent, your WBA is 1/22 of your HQ with a maximum of $424.
  • 2 dependents, your WBA is 1/21 of your HQ with a maximum of $439.
  • 3 dependents, your WBA is 1/20 of your HQ with a maximum of $462.
  • 4+ dependents, your WBA is 1/19 of your HQ with a maximum of $500.

Maximum Benefit Amount

The most you can receive during your benefit year is 26 times your weekly benefit amount (WBA) or one-third of your total base-period wages, whichever is less.

*Exceptions apply.

Base Period and Alternate Base Period

The base period is a four-quarter (one-year) period of time from which your weekly benefit amount (WBA) and maximum benefit amount (MBA) are determined. The amount of wages you earn in the base period determines the amount of unemployment benefits you receive. If you fail to qualify monetarily using the regular base period, you will receive a notification that you may be able to file a claim using an alternate base period. This period is the last four completed calendar quarters prior to the beginning date of the claim.

What You Need To Know

  • Your claim will be made effective the Sunday of the week in which your application was filed.
  • You must have earned and have been paid wages by employers covered by UI in two or more quarters of your base period.
  • You must have

    total base-period earnings of at least 1.25 times the wages you earned in your highest base-period quarter.

  • You must have a minimum amount of wages in the high and low quarters of your base period. For program year 7/01/2013-6/30/2014, you need a High-Quarter Minimum of $1,400 and a Low-Quarter Minimum of $700.
  • You should receive your first payment in about three weeks after you first apply for benefits.
  • You must report your continued claim each week to certify your eligibility.


You can receive UI benefit payments on a pre-paid debit card or through direct-deposit. You will be paid on the card, unless you have selected the direct-deposit method.

To make your selection, access the form online on the online Iowa Workforce Development handbook (page 25) at:

You can also visit your local IowaWORKS Center. For locations, check the directory at:

Emergency Unemployment Compensation

Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) is a federal extension given to individuals who have exhausted all regular Iowa reemployment assistance benefits. This program has not been extended by the federal government. The last week of paid EUC benefits was the week ending December 28, 2013.

Taxable Income

Unemployment compensation benefits are considered taxable income.

You may request that income tax be either withheld or not withheld. Deductions are 10 percent of the gross benefit payment for federal taxes and five percent of the gross benefit payment for state taxes. If you elect to have taxes deducted, you will have to complete and sign the Tax Withholding Agreement form. For more information regarding tax withholding, visit:

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will mail you a 1099-G form every year reporting the amount of benefits paid and the amount of tax withheld during the previous calendar year.

If you have any questions, contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.

You can also contact the Iowa Division of Labor Services at 866-239-0843  or 888-848-7442.

Category: Credit

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