Alabama Unemployment Benefits
State unemployment benefits are handled by The Alabama Department of Labor (ADL). The department offers financial help to those who have lost their jobs for no fault of their own. ADL also offers various services to applicants to make the Unemployment Insurance claims process as easy as possible, and to get a job in the most time effective manner.
Alabama’s Career Centers offer job development, occupational and educational training, vocational rehabilitation and veterans services. The career centers also offer services such as labor market Information, computer training tutorials, job shops, and individual career assessments.
Read on to know more to know about the details such as eligibility criteria, documents required to file for benefits, benefits extensions and so on.
Eligibility To Apply For UI Benefits In Alabama
Alabama UI benefits are only given if you satisfy all the eligibility criteria which are monetary requirements, job separation requirements, and job search requirements. You must maintain your eligibility in all respects to remain eligible throughout the benefit period.
To gain monetary eligibility you must have earnings for a minimum of two quarters for your qualifying base period.
Your base period is the first four quarters of your last five completed quarters from the date of your initial claim.
You must meet certain qualifications set by the State of Alabama to receive unemployment benefits:
- Your total base period earnings must be equal or exceed one-half times of your highest quarter earnings
- The average of your two highest quarters must equal or exceed $1157.01
- To receive unemployment benefits if you are working part-time your gross weekly earnings should be less than your weekly benefit amount
- The weekly benefits amount in the state of Alabama ranges from $45 to a maximum of $265, which is calculated using your base period amount
A form will be sent to your most recent employer informing them you have filed for unemployment benefits. Your ex-employer will fill in the form regarding your performance in your last job. The application will then be reviewed by the department and only if the application meets the criteria will the department give the go-ahead for you to receive unemployment benefits.
Base Period: Is the last four of the last five completed calendar quarters before filing an initial application claim
High Quarter: The high quarter is the base period quarter in which you earned the maximum amount of wages in your employment
Benefit Year: The benefit year is a 52-week term, beginning with the week you file your initial claim
Waiting Week: A waiting week is a one week time period in which your claim will not be paid. This will not affect your claim balance
Covered and Insured Employment: Covered employment is work performed for any employer who is subject to unemployment law in the state of Alabama.
You have up to 26 weeks of UI benefits depending on how much you earned in your base period. You have a 52 week benefit year in which if you exhaust your 26 weeks of UI you are not eligible for more.
When you return to work or have deductible income for any week, you can draw more or less than 26 weeks. The current weekly gross earnings are $265. If your gross weekly earnings exceed $265 you are not eligible for unemployment benefits.
The reason for separation from your previous job is vital to determine your eligibility for unemployment benefits. There are certain conditions that you have to meet to be eligible for unemployment benefits in the state of Alabama.
- You have lost your job for no fault of yours whatsoever
- If you voluntarily quit your job, the burden of proof is on you to show that you had a good cause to quit
- If you are terminated your previous employer must show that you were terminated for a work- connected reason as stated in the Alabama UC law
- Depending on the circumstances of the act you will be eligible or ineligible for UI. Be it misconduct work rules, policies, endangering the safety of others disregarding orders or instructions and committing a dishonest or criminal act
The Alabama Department Of Labor will conduct a thorough background check by consulting your previous employer. If the reason for your resignation does not match any of the reasons above you may not be eligible for unemployment benefits.
After becoming eligible for benefits you must maintain your eligibility throughout the benefit period. ADL has set certain conditions which have to be maintained throughout the benefit period:
- If you decline a job offer from any potential employer your benefits can be canceled immediately
- You must be unemployed through no fault of yours as defined by Alabama State law
- You must actively search for a new job weekly and must update the Alabama career center weekly maintaining a handbook of your job search
- You must be actively seeking employment weekly and create a handbook of the status of your application which will be reviewed by the department
- You must not refuse any suitable work. If you fail to respond to the Alabama Career Center regarding an opportunity, your benefits can be delayed from 1 to 10 weeks
- You must maintain records of the employers you contact, the dates you made the contact and the outcome
- If you were terminated from your previous employment, your previous employer must show that you were terminated for a work-related reason as stated in the Alabama UC Law
- If you are enrolled in any sort of training approved by the department you must fully complete your training during your unemployment. As long as you are making steady process it will not affect your claims
- If you are not a citizen of the United States, you must provide your registration which maintains your eligibility to work in the US. Your registration number will then be verified by U.S. citizenship and immigration services (USCIS) and only if your application is verified will you be eligible for benefits. The unemployment claim cannot be established using any wages you earned before you had the authorization to work in the US
How to Apply For UI Benefits in Alabama?
You will need the following documents to file claims in the state of Alabama
To apply for Alabama unemployment benefits you will need to share your:
Online: To apply for benefits in Alabama, you must log in to https://www.labor.alabama.gov/uc/ICCS/default.aspx.
Click on ‘establish a new claim’ or ‘reopen a UC claim’ and follow the prompts. You can apply for benefits online at any time and place convenient to you.
Telephone: If you do not have access to a working internet connection you can dial 866-234-5382 to file for UI benefits in Alabama. Use a touch-tone phone while filing your claim. If access is not available to a touch-tone phone use a designated telephone at any local Alabama Career Center.
You will then be asked a series of questions that require you to answer by pressing certain numbers on your touch-tone telephone keypad. Later you may be transferred to a claims specialist which may require you to give additional information to complete your claim.
How to File Weekly Claims
To file your weekly claims, visit the ADL website or use the unemployment compensation division touch-tone voice process system.
To file your weekly claims you will need your social security number and Personal Identification Number (PIN) which you established when you filed your unemployment claim.
Weekly claim certifications can be claimed by 12.01 AM Sunday through 5.00 PM on Friday. (Central Time). You must file for your weekly claims no later than 5 pm each Friday.
UI Benefit Amount
You can find the approximate weekly benefits that you are entitled to in the state of Alabama using this calculator. The benefits calculator below will give an idea of what your weekly benefit amount would be, by taking your base period wages into consideration. Find out what weekly benefits you should receive in the state of Alabama.
Use the calculator to find out how much weekly benefits you may approximately earn in the state of Alabama.
Things to Know After Filing An Application
You are expected to follow certain guidelines after filing for UI claims. Not adhering to these guidelines can result in problems, and can also result in a stoppage of monetary benefits as well. You must also be aware of the job-related services provided by Alabama’s career centers.
Overpayments and Collections
Overpayments occur if you made a mistake while claiming for benefits, or you were not able to work for a particular week of the benefit or the entire period. If you are on trial you might receive overpayment benefits.
Alabama has several methods of determining UC overpayment and fraud. These methods include, employer wage records, benefit payment audits, quality assurance audits, reports through the fraud, and reports through the state and national new hire program.
If the Alabama state determines that you were overpaid benefits, you will be notified through a Notice of Determination of Overpayment. Which indicates the amount of overpayment and explains why you were overpaid.
Failure to report any information that affects your eligibility for benefits and falsely reporting any on your claim application can be considered as an act of fraud. False information on your claim application or weekly claim applications is constructed as an act of fraud. Withholding of certain facts or information determining your eligibility while claiming benefits also constitutes fraud. If a fraud situation is detected in your payments of unemployment benefits:
- You will be disqualified for a 52- week period which begins immediately following the final date of your fraud determination
- You will also be required to pay the full fraud amount in verified cash or funds before filing for another claim
- Every subsequent act determined as fraud will result in a disqualification period of 104-weeks following the final date of the determination of fraud
The act of unemployment fraud is also punishable by the prosecution from a class B felony to a class A misdemeanor. An arrest warrant can be issued against you. Upon convictions, you can be:
- Sentenced to a maximum of not more than 20 years or less than 2 years in jail for each offense of a class B felony
- Sentenced to a maximum of not more than 10 years or less than 1 year and 1 day for class c felony
- Sentenced to not more than one year for a class A misdemeanor
You can voluntarily pay for your overpayments via personal check, money order, certified check or cashier’s check made payable to the Alabama Department of Labor. You can also pay for overpayments online at www.labor.alabama.gov.
If you have any questions about overpayment and repayment, you can contact the Benefit Payment Control Section at (334) 956-4000.
All repayment benefits must always be in writing. Always mail your payments to the following address.
Alabama Department of labor
Benefit Payment Control Section 3430
649 Monroe Street
Montgomery, Alabama 36131
Phone: (334) 956-4000
The State of Alabama offers benefits extension when the unemployment rate is too high or there is an economic downturn. To know more, visit the Alabama Department Of Labor website.
Job Training Assistance
Alabama’s network offers one-stop career centers that are located throughout the state. Services like job development, occupational and educational training, vocational rehabilitation and Unemployment Insurance information is offered at the center.
Potential employers work with the centers to find workers with specific skill sets. Many centers are linked electronically with partner agencies. Such as the Alabama department of human resources and department of education.
Alabama’s Career Centers offer services like:
- Facilities are provided to help job seekers who do not have access to a working internet connection
- Employees are urged to connect with potential employers through the internet access provided at these centers
- Individual career assessment techniques are used by the centers to test the employee’s professional skills and fit the employee to the correct job profile
- The centers also create job referral templates which employees fill up and are passed on to various people in the center so that, someone could refer a potential candidate
- All information regarding unemployment insurance eligibility is provided at the centers so that applicants have a clear understanding of what is the process to file for UI
- Access to a copier, fax, and telephone are all provided at the centers, which makes it easier for candidates to send and receive various documents for their job search
- The centers also conduct regular workshops on resume building process