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Iowa Workforce Development: Return to work or lose unemployment benefits

Unemployment benefits have been spread to hundreds of thousands of Iowans in the past couple weeks alone. The cool $600 a week has been keeping many fed and sheltered. However, for some, this safety net is coming to an end. 

The Iowa Workforce Development is now saying: go back to work or lose your unemployment benefits. 

This applies to those workers being actively recalled back to work by their employers. For those unwilling to return, their benefits will be revoked. 

The IWD did forward over a list of exceptions to this new rule:

  • If you have tested positive for COVID-19 and are experiencing symptoms; 
  • If you have recovered but it caused medical complications rendering you unable to perform essential job duties; 
  • If a member of your household has been diagnosed with COVID-19; 
  • If you are providing care for a member of your household who was diagnosed with COVID-19; 
  • If you do not have childcare due to COVID-19 reasons; or 
  • If you do not have transportation to your place of work because of COVID-19.  

A release from the IWD reads: “Refusing to return to work when recalled for any other reason, or in an attempt to continue to draw unemployment benefits will be considered a “voluntary quit” which would disqualify a claimant from receiving benefits, including the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefit of $600/weekly.”

The IWD asks businesses to report employees who refuse to return to work without good reason or who quit their jobs as soon as possible to IWD at

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