What you need to know:
- Generally, you have up to 26 weeks of eligibility depending on how much you have earned in your base period.
- If you return to work or if you have deductible income for any week, you may draw more or less than 26 weeks.
- The total amount that you can draw for the year is the maximum benefit amount shown on your monetary determination.
The Unemployment Compensation Program pays unemployment benefits to eligible workers. This program is financed by employer taxes. These may include federal and state unemployment taxes.
- Unemployment tax is paid by employers on the first $8,000.00 of their workers’ gross earnings during a tax year.
- Not all employers are required to pay the unemployment compensation tax.
- Employees do not pay any unemployment compensation taxes on wages earned.
Conditions for Eligibility
There are at least two determinations made on your claim:
- The monetary determination – this will indicate the wages paid to you by your employer(s) within the base period quarters and your maximum and weekly benefit amount, if you qualify.
- Reason for separation from employer
*If no disqualification is assessed, you will receive unemployment benefits. If a disqualification is assessed, you will receive a written decision notifying you that benefits were reduced, suspended, or denied for any length of time.
You must have insured wages in at least two quarters of your base period.
*The base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the week you call to file an initial claim application for a new benefit year.
If you earned wages in other states during the base period, they may be used in combination with your Alabama wages.
There are two types of eligibility issues:
Circumstances regarding your separation from your employer can affect whether or not you can draw benefits. Delays or disqualifications of benefits can take place if you voluntarily quit your job without a good cause connected with the work; you were discharged from your job for misconduct in connection with the work; or you become unemployed due to a work stoppage resulting from a labor dispute.
To remain eligible for benefits you must:
- Be available for work during each week that you wish to draw benefits.
- Be able to work.
- Participate in or report to fact-finding interviews, profile interviews, eligibility reviews, and register with the Employment Service, as instructed.
- Make an active search for work each week.
- Not refuse any offer of suitable work.
- Report immediately the receipt of any income.
- Provide your alien registration number as documentation of your permission to work in the United States if you are not a citizen of the United States.
- Remain enrolled and make satisfactory progress in completing your approved course of training if enrolled in training approved by the Department of Labor.
* 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.
Filing a Claim
To file an Unemployment Claim in the state of Alabama, you can do the process online or over the phone.
Make sure this information and documents are available:
- Social Security number
- Driver’s license or Alabama ID number
- Alien Registration Card (if applicable)
- A list of names, complete addresses, and telephone numbers and the beginning and end dates of employment of your last two employers
- Information and related documents for any federal civilian employment, military service, or work performed in another state in the past 18 months
- Bank routing number and checking or savings account number
It usually takes about two to three weeks following the week you filed a claim to receive your first benefit payment.
What You Should Know
To continue to be eligible for unemployment benefits you need to file weekly claim certifications.
You can file weekly claim certifications online or over the phone.
To file a weekly claim online, visit: https://labor.alabama.gov/uc/ICCS/default.aspx.
The phone number for your calling area will be provided to you when you file your claim.
Unemployment compensation benefits are considered taxable income.
- You can request to have federal income taxes withheld from your unemployment benefit payments. If you do, weekly benefits will be reduced by 10 percent.
- You will be given the option to change your withholding status only once during your claim year.
- The Department of Labor will mail a Statement of Benefits (Form 1099-G) following a year in which you received benefits.
What Happens If?
If your claim is denied and you believe you qualify for unemployment benefits, you can file an appeal to the Hearing and Appeals Division.
Appeal requests must be filed within 15 calendar days of the mailing date of the original decision or within 7 calendar days if the decision was handed to you in-person.
This is considered a first level appeal.
Appeal requests can be mailed or faxed to:
Alabama Department of Labor
Hearing and Appeals Division, Room 4677
649 Monroe Street
Montgomery, Alabama 36131.
Note: Continue to file your weekly certifications by telephone during the appeals process, so if the decision is in your favor you can be paid for eligible back weeks.
If either party disagrees with the Hearing Officer’s decision, an appeal may be filed to the Board of Appeals. If either party is dissatisfied with the decision of the Board of Appeals, they may file an appeal to the circuit court in the county of the claimant’s residence. Decisions of the circuit court may be appealed to the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals.
Back to Work
If you find a job, you must report any earnings produced during the week you file a claim. Have the amount of your gross pay (and not your net pay) you received or will receive ready to enter.
To file a claim online, visit: https://labor.alabama.gov/uc/ICCS/default.aspx.
To file a claim over the phone, visit the directory: http://labor.alabama.gov/uc/phone.aspx.