Surviving Coronavirus: Info for the Employed and Unemployed

If you are unemployed due to the Coronavirus outbreak


Governor Reynolds announced assistance for Iowans who are facing Coronavirus-related work losses, whether they are out of work or are caring for a sick loved one. Information can be found on the Iowa Workforce Development website. Here is the key information that was announced on Tuesday, March 17:


[From the IWD website] Unemployment insurance claims:

If you are laid off due to COVID-19 or have to stay home to self-isolate, care for family members or due to illness related to COVID-19, you can receive unemployment benefits, provided you meet all other eligibility requirements. Work search requirements will be waived. Those requirements essentially include working for wages from an employer who claims you as an employee in six of the last eighteen months and have earned at least $2,500 in the same time period. More specific explanation of benefit eligibility can be found on the website for the 2019 Unemployment Insurance Claimant Handbook

  • Claimants can expect to receive payment within 7-10 days after the date the claim is filed.
  • Claims that are filed and identified as a direct or indirect result of COVID-19, will not be charged to employers. Fact-finding interviews for these claims will be waived and not be held although employers will be notified of claims received.
  • IWD will process unemployment insurance payments to ensure payment will continue to be paid in a timely manner.


Iowa Workforce Development is hosting webinars to address the State’s relief efforts. There are two webinars, one for information for employers and one for unemployment insurance claims. Those webinars will be posted online on the IWD COVID-19 Information Page.

If you need to file unemployment but don't have a computer


As of Tuesday, March 17, the IowaWORKS office at Eastdale Plaza in Iowa City has not closed its doors. The office is open on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except for Wednesdays when it opens at 9 a.m. You can file in person or by calling 1-866-239-0843. Those who are not U.S. citizens will need their alien identification number and the date when it expires. 

If you need to apply over the phone, you will need your social security card and your state identification (e.g, drivers license number). If you want to have checks deposited to a checking account, you will need your bank's routing number and your account number.


If you are employed and working from home


Mediacom announced that they are, “Pausing monthly data allowances across all Mediacom broadband service tiers through May 15, 2020.” CenturyLink is also “suspending data usage limits for consumer customers during this time period due to COVID-19.”

Some services providers have signed the “Keep Americans Connected Pledge.”

From Federal Communications Commission’s news release: “The Keep Americans Connected Pledge reads as follows: Given the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on American society, [[Company Name]] pledges for the next 60 days to:

  • not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic;
  • waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and
  • open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them

If you are employed and working from home...with kids


Working parents can find lots of advice online about how to keep working while having kids home at the same time. The following articles offer some advice.


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