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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.

  1. my job was eliminated on 11-8-19 after 20 years of service . I was working full time am also a bi-vocational pastor for which I received $300.00 a week housing allowance and have a farm that I operate. I have worked for 50 years and have only received unemployment two times that I remember in 1991 when plant closed and 1992 when another job as consultant played out.

  2. I tried to apply for disability this year, but was denied because of the lack of hours I’ve worked in my life. I’m 23, so that’s understandable. But I’ve been fired for my inability to walk/stand for long, and that’s showing the same problem now. People will not hire me once they know I can’t do much if I’m not sitting. I wasn’t able to put that on my application! I’m worried it will get denied.

  3. I worked as an Uber/Lyft driver in 2017/2018 in Alabama where I had also lived and worked for 20 years. I moved to GA in Sep of 2018 and worked for the health insurance marketplace from Nov 3 2018 to Feb 5 2019. I was laid off on Feb 5th and job was supposed to last until end of March. The company I worked for said for all of us who were laid off to file for unemployment, they said they had no problem with paying for it. When I applied in Georgia they called and said my wages were pulling up in Alabama and I needed to apply in Alabama. I applied in Alabama and they said I hadn’t worked enough quarters but I had worked all year as a uber/lyft driver. What is the problem here? Why can’t I get my unemployment? GA said I had wages pulling up in Alabama.

    • Micheline,

      To qualify, a claimant is required to have active employment and earnings in the last 4-5 calendar quarters (Based Period). If you do not meet this criterion, please ask the Unemployment Office to consider “Alternate Base Period”.

      • I have been working as a custodian at a high school since December of 2019 and have recently been laid off I guess you could say due to the state shutdown of schools and businesses. I still have my job I just can’t work. I have 3 kids in my home, bills, and rent I still need to pay. Can I still apply for Unemployment?

        • Elizabeth,

          We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly.

          Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

  4. I work for a union and was with a company for a year and a half and eventually laid off because, after having my new born child I had to move back to my home town and it was taking me 3 to 3 1/2 hours to get to and from work each day. I immediately filed for unemployment and was granted it. But the next day I went to the union hall and discussed my need for a job closer to home with the board. The union board decides who works where if the need for work become available. Well I was offered a job at Honda which is 20 mins. Driving in One day,. and I happily acccepted The job. Well I went out to the job one day. After that day the company I work for decides to move me from Honda to Unipress manufacturing. Unipress is 2 to 2 1/2 hours travel in one day. I did that for a week and when I heard that I was staying at Unipress til further notice. I was fired after I quit because I have a new born, one car and can’t be that far away. Can I receive Unemployment? the company moved from one City to another and i couldn’t follow the company.

    • Nicholas,

      Unemployment Insurance benefits are extended to claimants who lose their job due to involuntary reasons. I suggest you speak to the Union to see if you can continue with your existing claim.

  5. If you are ineligible for Unemployment in Tennessee due to Quarterly Earnings. If denied in Tennessee and you have worked in Alabama, can you file a claim in Alabama if you have Earnings reported by previous Alabama Employer even though you are being laid off in Tennessee.

  6. I took my daughter to the ER of the hospital where I work per the instructions of her neurologist. Had to beg the doctor to call the Neuro and he did not like that very much. He wanted to give her a RX and shot of pain meds and have her follow up with Neuro in the AM. He finally called Neuro and received orders on what to give my daughter. She had never received this medication and as a nurse I knew it had to be monitored closely due to her diagnoses and the meds she was on. Within 7 minutes they were discharging us telling us to follow up with Neuro in the morning. I got upset and told the nurse to tell the doctor for me and I used the *f word a couple of times in my statement* if anything happened to my daughter I was holding him liable and I would be reporting this to administration due to this not being proper procedure. After we got to the parking lot I did call the Nursing supervisor and let her know what I said “straight from the horses mouth”. Was told that my job was not in jeopardy due to I was not on the clock I was a customer not to worry about it. My daughter had to be admitted later that night due to the ER doctor not following the Neuro orders. He was to re evaluate the med and if it did not work Neuro was to admit to hospital when we got home and she was no better Neuro was notified and that is when we learned of this. Neuro sent direct admit orders to the hospital and we returned and she was there for two days. I went to work the next day and half way through my shift I was called to HR and placed on suspension due to “your behavior and outburst in the ER”. I was a customer at the time not an employee. Can I draw anything on suspension or if they fire me?

    • If I attend college online. But am available to work full time and actively looking for employment am I eligible to continue my unemployment benefits in Alabama

    • Frankie,

      This is a tricky situation. I suggest you call the Unemployment Office for further advise. I hope you don’t get fired.

  7. My assignment ended because my daughter got sick and had an doctors appointment she has asthma I gave the company notice ahead of time can I still qualify for benefits?

    • You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  8. I was a teacher. I was non renewed. My termination letter states May 26, 2017 as my last day. I opted to have a portion of my pay withheld each month during the school year so I would get a check during the summer. Can I get unemployment for the summer alabama?

    • Melissa,

      Please check with your employer if they paid Unemployment Taxes in your state and apply accordingly during the seasonal time off from work.

    • Tracey,

      Hope you get well soon. UI benefits are only extended to those who are able and available for work.

  9. Received Employer wage report for qualifying period. Payments pending final approval. It shows weekly benefit amount, but doesn’t actually say if I’m approved?
    Not sure when or if I’m supposed to start filing weekly claim statement.
    Is that after i receive a final approval for unemployment? Also this is first time filing for unemployment.

    • Sandy,

      I suggest you call the Claims Center for precise answers to all your questions. There will be a “Waiting Week” for the first claim.

  10. My husbands plant is shutting down for maintenance for 16 days. He is missing exactly 64 hours of paid work. Can he file for unemployment while the plant is shut down?

    • Temporary time off from work is generally not eligible.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state to inquire further.

  11. I was told today I would be given a thirty day leave due to missing work because of doctors appointments. I told them I could not be done that way I have worked here for 1year and a month they told me I could file unemployment and they wouldn’t fight it. Will I be eligible for benefits . Thanks

    • You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  12. I worked PT for almost 2 years @ $9 per hr. The company gave a closing date of 11/12/16. Because there wasn’t a position at another location available/offered to me,I was released mid Oct. I received less than $250 severance and have depleted my savings paying my bills while searching for employment! I am 48yrs old and do not qualify for assistance anywhere else. I am able-bodied to work. Do I qualify for benefits?

    • You will only be eligible to claim UI benefits if your employer remitted taxes that contribute towards state funds.

      Please check with your employer and apply accordingly.

  13. My employer is shutting down the first two weeks of 2017. I still have some vacation eligibility remaining, but planned to take my vacation in June with my family. Will having vacation hours available through my employer disqualify me from unemployment benefits?

    • Seasoned and scheduled time off from work generally does not qualify.

      Please speak to the Unemployment Office for further information.

    • Please use the “Benefits Calculator” to check the benefits or call the Unemployment Office in your state for further details.

  14. I was fired because my boss say I was on camera with my eyes closed and i have sleep apenea but, I was told earlier in the week that they were planning to let me go i have other health issue that cause them to try and fire me in the previous month so now they fired me for neglect but I have health issue that at some periods I do have to close me eyes but by any means I was not sleep cause when I actually do sleep without my cpap I never get any sleep and I hear everything around me

    • Well, if you lose/lost the job due to voluntary reasons, you will not be eligible to claim Unemployment Insurance benefits.

  15. I turned in notice because I was unable to be prompt to work because of my daycare. My manager agreed to adjust the time a little when i spoke to your the first time.But now she is unable to do so do it because of the new tardiness policy

    • You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

      Please inquire further with the Unemployment Office in your state.

  16. There is not enough money in the bank on Friday to cover my payroll check, because of this I have to go to a check cashing place to cash my payroll check. My personal bank wanted to hold part of my payroll check, they said the company (my employer) who wrote the check was a risk. Can I file? I have been with this company 23 years.

    • You can claim and receive unemployment compensation only if you’re laid off from the job.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for further details.

    • You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  17. My seasonal.job just ended however I had a job with a real company that shut down before that can I receive unemployment in the state of Alabama

    • You can be eligible on the basis of your permanent job.

      Please use the Benefits Calculator available on this site to determine benefits.

  18. I was just let go due to health reasons that are out of my control. I am a very good worker and never late but I am pregnant (15 weeks) and having heart issues. They told me they were really sorry, that she didn’t want to let me go, but I needed to take care of me and the baby first. I worked there from January 17th to May 16th. Am I eligible for unemployment?! I’m so beside myself right now

    • Unfortunately, the system does not consider personal issues such as pregnancy.

      You will not be eligible for UI benefits since they are only offered to those who’re able and available for work.

  19. I was terminated from my job after 3 weeks because i missed 1 full day during training because my son was very ill with a asthma attack. I provided a doctors excuse but they still let me go, but offered me to return in 3 weeks to a new training class because my performance was very good. i filled unemployment for the time I would be unemployed with the company. the company lied and said I resigned but I submitted the email confirming i was let go for an absence. Do I qulify for unemployment? Its been 3 weeks and no decision made yet.

    • If you were terminated wrongfully, you can qualify.

      Please call the claims center on the phone numbers provided for an update. If they deny, please ask for an adjudicator and keep all the supporting documents handy.

  20. I’m in Alabama. My plant is shutting down one week. I understand there is a week waiting period on unemployment benefits. If I take vacation during the week waiting period will I be ineligible to file?

    • We’re not sure of a definite answer.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for further information.

  21. I am student and working an temp job. If I am let go or quit because the job is making me fail my classes can I draw unemployment until I find a more suitable job?

    • Students are not generally eligible for UI benefits since they are unable to work full time due to their class schedule.

      Please call the claims center/customer service of the labor dept. in your state for further information.

  22. I may be laid-off from my full time job (held 20 yrs) due to budget constraints. The lay-off package includes severance pay based on years of service plus any unused vacation. Does the severance package impact my unemployment eligibility?

    • Actually, the other response is not true. In the state of Alabama, severance is not considered wages, therefore it is possible to collect both a severence and unemployment at the same time. I was laid off in a mass layoff with 400 other people a few years ago and an administrator from the Alabama dept of Labor came to speak with all of the laid off employees.
      One of the the things that he told us is that as long as your benefits package refers to your payments as “severance” then these payments are not considered when one applies for unemployment. We were encouraged to file immediately (which I did) and I received both my severance benefits and unemployment for several weeks.
      You can verify this information via the state of Alabama dept of labor website as well as with a phone call to them.
      I’m sure this may be different in other states, but in Alabama your severance is not wages and therefore is not considered when determining your unemployment eligibility.

  23. I always have gotten when we’re laid off but this is the first time I’ve had some vacation hours so I was wondering if that was the delay or reason for saying not paid

  24. OK so I work for a school so we are laid off when the kids go on breaks and then we file for unemployment to we return back to work I have already did a waiting week last time I was laid off this year well we were just laid off again for what will end up being 5 weeks of lay off well I had 40 hours vacation which I claimed when I signed up for my unemployment well I’ve been filling now for about to be 4 weeks and all weeks are saying unpaid so does this mean there not going to give me unemployment due my vacation hours keep in mind it’s only 40 hours and this is what I work in normal 1 week period at work which I told unemployment this when I filed my claim online so will I qualify to reseave unemployment

    • Generally, seasonal employment such as schooling does not qualify.

      If you’ve received compensation before and there is a delay this time, please call the unemployment office in your state for an update on status.

  25. I was working as an instructor at a local college. I put in a letter of resignation for the end of the end of the Fall quarter December 18, 2015. I was let go on Oct 28, 2015 with the explanation that they were going ahead and accepting my resignation. We are contracted by quarter. Would this fall under the employer breaking the contract and qualify me for unemployment benefits?

  26. im a truck driver the dr has put on insulin so with the fed. reg I can no longer driver comm. veh can I draw unemploymenyt

    • You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  27. I an 41 years old and have worked since I was 18. I was terminated in august.I applied for benefits and was denied .I had my appeals hearing to which the company didn’t even attend but was still denied.I requested a hearing but was turned down. I have no idea about the legal issues of unemployment. I have been seeking work,but it’s been 12 weeks and I’m still unemployed.can I reapply??? Is there any hope for me to receive my unemployment compensation?

    • Looks like you were not given a fair hearing during the appeals procedure. Please follow up with appropriate authorities.

      Visit the nearest office for a quick resolution.

  28. My previous employer let me go after an accident due to fatigue, caused a roll over accident two weeks ago. All tests negative for drugs. Can I qualify?

    • You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  29. My employer cut my hours by 33% and cut my pay rate in half. This results in not being economically feasible for me to continue at this job. Am I eligible for unemployment benefits?

    • Contractors are not eligible to receive unemployment compensation unless the employer remitted relevant taxes on behalf of you.

      Please check with your employer.

  30. How do you know if your approved for benefits in Alabama? I received a wage report and it says “pending final approval of claim” and it shows my wages and what I should receive each week. I’m confused on how one knows if they are actually approved? Its been nearly 3 weeks and nothing so far. I was laid off not fired and should be eligible. I have filed weekly claims – 1st one reads waiting week and the 2nd reads ‘not paid’ and I’m due to file again. There should really be a better system put in place especially with the use of online material to let a person know sooner than waiting on the mail to arrive if they are approved or not.

    • Jimmy,

      I can understand the inconvenience caused here.
      Please call the phone numbers provided for update on claim status and also discuss the shortage in online options.

  31. i only worked for this company for 2 months and they were bought out and the new company let me go..can i file for unemployment…

    • With just two months of employment, you will not qualify.

      You must have at least an year of continuous employment to be eligible.

  32. I was laid off at the end of June. I have a part-time opportunity beginning in August to work for a friend during her maternity leave. I can work 24 hrs per week from Aug – Oct. Can I still apply for unemployment benefits during this time? Once this position if over can I continue to receive unemployment benefits? How does the unemployment period work in this situation (26 weeks). Does it stop and start over or continue?

    • The unemployment benefits are only provided for up to 26 weeks. It is not revolving or repetitive.

      If you’re working part time intentionally, you may not qualify for unemployment insurance. If there was reduction in the number of hours worked due to a deliberation by the employer, you can consider applying.

  33. I was hired as part time but worked full time for almost 4 months hours have been drastically. what are my chances for u employment benefits?

  34. 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.

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

  35. 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 ?

  36. 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.

  37. 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?

  38. 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?

  39. 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?

  40. 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?

    • 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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

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

    • 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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