Emergency Unemployment Compensation


The Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) is a federal program. The law was passed on June 30, 2008. This program lets people whose regular unemployment benefits get used up to extend their benefits for 13 more weeks. In January of 2009, EUC was extended again to 20 weeks for all states. In some states with high unemployment, it was extended to 26 weeks. The program was extended again on December 17, 2010, and will remain in place until at least January 3, 2012. For Iowans who lost their job and are having trouble finding work because of the economy, EUC benefits can be a real lifesaver.

Who is eligible for Emergency Unemployment Compensation?
A person is eligible for EUC if:

  • They have used up all their regular unemployment benefits for the benefit year; AND
  • They are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits through a different employer's account, or in a different state.

If I am eligible, how much would my Emergency Unemployment Compensation be?
In most cases, you get the same amount each week that you got for regular unemployment compensation. Of course, you may get less than your weekly benefit amount if you are having money withheld for child support or to pay back an overpayment of benefits.

I got a notice saying I might be able to get Emergency Unemployment Compensation. What should I do now?
If you have got a notice and wonder if you might be eligible, read this article. Then call or visit your local Iowa Workforce Development office. Talk to a representative about your case.

Are there reasons I might not qualify for Emergency Unemployment Compensation?
Yes. Even if you got a notice saying you might be eligible, that does not mean you will in fact qualify. Common reasons a person might not be eligible include:

If you were fired from your job for misconduct or quit without good cause attributable to your employer, you were probably denied regular unemployment compensation benefits shortly after applying for them. If you were not eligible for regular unemployment compensation benefits, you will not be eligible for EUC benefits.

Some people work for companies with offices or job sites in more than just one state. For example, Linda worked for a company with stores in Iowa and Nebraska. She was laid off from the Council Bluffs, Iowa store. Linda collected unemployment until it ran out. Then she got an offer for a temporary job at a store in Omaha. She worked in the Lincoln, Nebraska store for a few months. She is now unemployed again. Linda got a notice from Iowa Workforce Development that she may be eligible for EUC benefits.

If you are in a situation like Linda's, contact a representative at the unemployment office in each state where you worked. Before you file a claim for EUC benefits, make sure you are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits in any of the states where you worked.

  1. You were fired from your job for misconduct or quit without good cause attributable to your employer.
  2. You are still eligible for regular unemployment benefits.

    If you still get regular unemployment benefits, you will not be eligible to get EUC benefits. EUC benefits do not start until your regular benefits run out.

    Even if you do not get regular unemployment benefits right now, you still might be eligible for regular benefits. For example, let's look at Ted's case. Ted worked for ABC Manufacturing but was laid off. He filed for regular unemployment benefits. Ted got for a few months before starting a new job at XYZ Company. He just got laid off from XYZ Company and has not filed for regular unemployment benefits yet. A notice he got from Iowa Workforce Development said he might be eligible for Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits.If your case is like Ted's, talk to a representative at Iowa Workforce Development. Ask if you might qualify for regular unemployment benefits. If the answer is yes, you will need to use those benefits up before you can get any EUC benefits.
  3. You are eligible for regular unemployment benefits in a different state.

I have been getting Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits. Now I got a notice that says I have been overpaid. What should I do?
You will have ten (10) days to appeal to Iowa Workforce Development's Appeals Section. Appeal their decision right away. A hearing will be scheduled with an administrative law judge. You may contact Iowa Legal Aid or hire a private attorney to represent you at that hearing. Or you may represent yourself. You will be able to present evidence and have witnesses testify on your behalf. See the resource "Fact-Finding Hearings and Appeals for Unemployment Benefits" for more details.

If I have been overpaid, will I have to repay Iowa Workforce Development? I am still unemployed, so I cannot afford to repay them.

If you have got unemployment that you should not have received, you will generally have to repay it.

Emergency Unemployment Compensation is no different. However, Iowa Workforce Development can decide you do not have to repay the amount you were overpaid. They can do this if they decide the overpayment was not your fault and requiring you to repay the benefits would be unfair.

Be sure to appeal within ten (10) days of when you get the notice you were overpaid. At the hearing, tell the administrative law judge why you believe it was not your fault. Explain why you believe it would be unfair to make you pay them back.