Alabama (AL) Unemployment Eligibility

Calendar Icon Updated February 26, 2019
Unemployment

How to get Alabama unemployment benefits

Unemployment insurance (UI) benefits in Alabama (AL) are administered by the Alabama Department of Labor. UI is just one of the employment programs administered by the AL Department of Labor, whose overall mission is to be a steward of tax dollars by offering workforce development programs that promote a positive economy for employers and job seekers in the state of Alabama.

Alabama unemployment insurance benefits help supplement income for individuals who have lost their job or are only partially employed by no fault of their own. The program is funded by employer taxes. Benefits are paid in weekly payments and are not based on financial need. If you’ve recently lost your job due to a company closure or downsize or have had your hours significantly reduced, you are likely eligible for these benefits.

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How Unemployment Works in Alabama

And How To Get Unemployment in Alabama

  1. File an unemployment claim with the Alabama Department of Labor as soon as you become unemployed.
  2. After receiving an approval or rejection notice from the Alabama unemployment department, begin receiving weekly unemployment benefits. If your application was denied, you will need to file an appeal.
  3. Begin (or continue) searching for new employment, submitting a weekly claim online or through the Department of Labor website. These weekly vouchers show you are looking for work and allow you to continue receiving benefits.
  4. You may recieve Alabama unemployment benefits for up to 26 weeks, with a weekly payout of at least $45, but at most $265.
  5. If necessary, such as times of high Alabama unemployment rates, you may consider filing an application for an unemployment benefits extention, enabling you to continue getting a weekly claim even if you have done so for 26 weeks.

What Alabama unemployment benefits eligibility requirements do I need to meet?

The state of Alabama unemployment guidelines requires you to submit your social security number in order to receive benefits. The Department of Labor uses this information to verify your identity, gather employment and income information maintain your payment records and collect other data. You must have a Social Security number or work authorization number to be eligible for UI benefits in Alabama.

How much, if any, Alabama unemployment benefits you are eligible for is based on two determinations:

1. Monetary determination

This determination will note how much you earned during the base period quarters and your maximum weekly benefit amount (also known as your Alabama unemployment weekly claim), should you meet eligibility. Your base period consists of the first four out of the last five quarters the week before you begin your Alabama unemployment claim. The wages you were paid during this time period will determine your benefit amount. 

To qualify for benefits, you must meet these Alabama unemployment qualifications:

  • You must have earned money via insured wages during at least two quarters of your base period.
  • The wages earned during your two highest-earning quarters must average out to at least the minimum income requirements of $1157.01.
  • Total earnings during your base period must be more than or equal to one-half times earnings in your highest base period quarter.

2. Separation determination

Unemployment benefits in AL are only paid to individuals who lose work or have reduced hours due to no fault of there own. You cannot receive benefits if:

  • You chose to quit without just cause.
    Just cause may include situations like hostile work environment, but do not include things like lack of transportation or too long a commute. If you quit your job the burden of proof is on you to show proper reasoning.
  • You were fired or let go for misconduct.
    As stated in Alabama Unemployment Compensation Claim (UC) Law, your employer will be asked to show documentation that you were terminated for a work-related cause.
  • You’re involved in a labor dispute.
    Individuals involved in a labor dispute are not often eligible to receive unemployment benefits.

In addition to meeting Alabama unemployment requirements for monetary and separation determinations, those wanting to collect unemployment benefits in the state must also meet and maintain the following requirements at all times while receiving benefits:

  • Be able to work.
    To qualify as able to work, you must have the physical and mental capabilities to accept and carry out a job. If you are ill or injured, you are not eligible for benefits until you are well enough to go back to work.

Eligibility Team

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