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Alabama Unemployment Eligibility

The Unemployment Compensation Division of Alabama pays unemployment benefits to workers who are either unemployed or working reduced hours, through no fault of their own. However, this does not mean that who ever applies for benefits will qualify. Certain eligibility conditions are in place to initial eligibility requirements and to remain eligible to receive benefits by claiming weekly.

Let us focus on the initial eligibility requirements. There are two types of eligibility requirements -

1. Monetary Eligibility Requirement

The monetary determination will tell you if you have earned enough wages to qualify for unemployment benefits in the state of Alabama.

  1. You must have insured wages in at least two calendar quarters of your base period in order to qualify for unemployment benefits.
  2. The average earnings of your two highest base period quarters must equal or exceed $1157.01 (as of 2012). Your high quarter is the base period quarter during which you were paid the highest amount of wages from covered employment.
  3. Your total base period wages must equal or exceed 1 1/2 times your high quarter earnings in order to be eligible for unemployment benefits.

2. Non-Monetary Eligibility Requirement

This involves job separation, ability to work and other things. A fact-finding interview will be conducted to determine if you are eligible for benefits. An eligibility issue can reduce, suspend, or deny your benefits under the Alabama Unemployment Compensation Law.

A form will be mailed to your most recent employer to notify them that you have
filed a claim for unemployment benefits. This form will request information about why you are no longer employed. Although information about your job separation is obtained from you at the time you file your telephone claim, it may be necessary for the unemployment office to contact you again, once a response is received from your employer.

Before a decision can be made on your claim, it is necessary that the Department have a clear understanding of the circumstances under which you became unemployed. Circumstances regarding your separation from your last employer can affect whether or not you can draw benefits. The baseline remains the same, if you were unemployed for no fault of your own, you are mostly eligible.

Here is a list to determine your eligibility -

  1. Reason for job separation. If you quit your job without a good cause or were fired for misconduct, you might not be considered suitable to receive benefits.
  2. You must be able, seeking and willing to immediately accept full-time work during each week that you wish to draw benefits.
  3. You must must be able to participate in or report to fact-finding interviews, profile interviews, eligibility reviews, and register with the Employment Service, as instructed.
  4. You must make an active search for work each week that you wish to receive benefits.

Eligibility Questions

Will I receive unemployment benefits after quitting my job?

The Alabama Unemployment Compensation Law provides for a delay or disqualification from receipt of benefits if you voluntarily quit your job without a good cause connected with the work. Personal reasons, such as lack of transportation, moving to another town, etc., are not considered good work connected causes for quitting a job. Good cause to quit a job would be hazardous working conditions, not receiving payment on schedule, employer breaking your original contract etc.

I was fired from my previous job. Am I eligible to receive unemployment compensation?

If you were discharged from your job for misconduct in connection with the work, you might be disqualified. Failure to obey an employer’s work rules and policies, such as, being late or absent (whether unexcused or excessive), endangering the safety of others, disregarding orders or instructions, committing a dishonest or criminal act, etc., are considered good causes for an employer to discharge an employee. Also, the seriousness of the misconduct, whether or not prior warnings were given, and/or if steps were taken to correct the behavior prior to the discharge will determine the severity of the effect on one’s benefits. However, if you are able to prove that you were fired for no fault from your end, go ahead and apply for benefits.

What will happen if I am laid off?

Workers or employees are furloughed when the company has no job to offer. This is a case where the employee is able to work but is unemployed due to lack of work. You are eligible to claim benefits if you were laid off or your working hours were greatly reduced. Go ahead and apply for unemployment benefits.

Can I claim unemployment benefits while studying?

If you attend GED classes, a college, or a vocational school, you may be able to draw benefits as long as you make yourself fully available for any suitable work, even if it means changing the hours of your classes or quitting school. If you are a regular, full-time student, attending high school, you will be disqualified from receiving benefits until you are no longer attending high school.

I have worked in different states and my last job was at Alabama. How do I go about the claiming process?

Wages earned in other states during the base period may be used in combination with your Alabama wages to determine your eligibility. If you have worked in another state during the base period, be sure to mention this to a claims specialist when filing your claim or through the Call Center Inquiry Line, 800-361-4524.

You may file an interstate claim on wages earned and reported to another state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, or the Virgin Islands. To file an interstate claim, you may call the toll-free number, 866-234-5382.

You will be required to furnish the names and addresses of all employers you worked for during the base period and the dates you were employed with them. If you have filed a claim against another state that does not file by telephone within the last 12 months, Alabama will notify that state to reopen that claim, unless your benefits from that state are exhausted, terminated or postponed for an indefinite period of time. The state where your wages were earned and against which you are filing your claim will make the decision as to whether you qualify for unemployment benefits. You will be subject to all the eligibility requirements of that state. Each state’s unemployment compensation law and procedure for filing may vary.

Want to know how much you would receive as unemployment compensation in Alabama? Use our calculator.

Also remember, you cannot choose to go on a vacation while collecting unemployment compensation. You will have to take part in job search activities to receive benefits and this might become your full-time work. Learn more about job search requirements in Alabama.

Office locations and phone numbers will help you with the claiming process.

Calculate your benefit amount and know how much you will receive as unemployment compensation.

Have questions on eligibility? Check our Q&A Section and eligibility questions.

Questions & Answers

  1. Wayne says:

    I am 68 years old drawing my SSI and working our business has dropped off a great deal if I am laid off will I be eligible for unemployment compensation.

    • Adrian says:

      If you’re running a business,you will mostly not qualify since you would have not paid the relevant taxes into the system.

  2. Robert says:

    I have worked at my job for 9 years . I just started college to obtain my RN degree to further my medical career in dealing with Cancer patents . I notified my Manger and HR person and the CEO of the company before doing so. I was told she would work with my work schedule to be able to attend college . I am in my first semester and have been dropped from full time to part time work status . My hours went from 40 to 60 to now 28 hours and was told I will be loosing my health coverage due to hours and the hours I do work I must keep doing my work and responsibilities and train new hires . If I quite due to these actions am I able to file unemployment in Alabama ?

  3. henrey smith says:

    If I get fired from my job for no fault on my end. For someone posting something on facebook that I was tagged in. Will I be able for unemployment.

  4. John says:

    Hi, I was let go due to absences, but i received no written or verbal warnings and had legitimate excuses. I even followed the call in policy every time. Am I eligible?

  5. Darlene says:

    I’ve worked for the same company for almost 12 years. Now, because of lack of work, my employer’s cutting my hrs. Do I qualify for any unemployment benefits?

  6. Tracy says:

    I am a teacher in my third year and I was non renewed on my contract to keep me from getting tenure with my school system. I work on the Alabama/Georgia line in Alabama but live in Georgia. Can I file for unemployment and do I file in Alabama or Georgia?

  7. Mary Hunt says:

    Appeal was denied due to late filing what are my options?

  8. Lisa says:

    I lost my husband last January. We were living with his family paying a share of the bills. I have no family of my own living here in alabama. In order to be able to have a place to live, his family said I could no longer live there. In September I had to quit my job in order to come to missouri and stay with my family until I can get a job and get my own place. I have been Looking and continue every day, but in the meantime I applied for my alabama unemployment and have been turned down, I am filing an appeal, do I have a valid reason for quitting?

    • Adrian says:

      I am sorry to hear about the loss.

      Please sit down and ascertain the reason for rejecting your claim(You can write back to us with the “Reason”).You need to definitely have a valid reason for leaving your last job.
      Perhaps, you can explain to the adjudicator when they contact you on the appeal filed.Be prepared.

  9. Marion says:

    I am currently working at K-Mart part time while attending school. When I received the job I was told that it is seasonal. So their is a chance that I will be laid off after the holidays. I have applied for numerous jobs but have been turned down due to the fact that I don’t have enough experience in retail which is what most jobs in Dothan, AL consist of, other than restaurants. My experience lies with mostly assembling, manufacturing and distribution, but their are few opportunities for those jobs here and have not received help from employment agencies in locating
    work. My question is will I be eligible to collect unemployment if I am laid off from my job even though I am attending school. Keep in mind that the job is seasonal so school is not the reason that I may get laid off.

  10. william long says:

    hello,i am having surgery sept,26,2013 at birmingham v.a. I will be out of work approx,8 weeks i work 29 hrs a week,I have not talked to my boss,I do not have benefits,with the city of madison al am i eligibly,thanks william long, I have worked for the city for 2 years

  11. Angela says:

    If I quit my job because of physical limitations, but an still able to work other types of jobs, would I qualify?

    • kathy says:

      Is there documentation of your physical limitations? When do you become aware of the conflict between your abilities and what the employer expected of you? Have you made attempts to have the employer accomodate your limitations? If you have to leave the job, but are still able to work, you may be eligible – the unemployment office makes the final determination.

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