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.
- You must have insured wages in at least two calendar quarters of your base period in order to qualify for unemployment benefits.
- 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.
- 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 –
- 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.
- You must be able, seeking and willing to immediately accept full-time work during each week that you wish to draw benefits.
- 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.
- You must make an active search for work each week that you wish to receive benefits.
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.
Calculate your benefit amount and know how much you will receive as unemployment compensation.