How can I sign up for unemployment benefits in Alabama?
Did you know that as of July 2016, approximately 5.7 percent of Alabama residents were unemployed? That is nearly one percent higher than the national average. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that many Alabama residents are in need of unemployment insurance benefits. If you are one of the thousands of Alabama citizens wondering how to file for unemployment, you have come to the right place. Regarding where to sign up for unemployment in Alabama, there are two methods that you can use:
- Apply online
- Apply by phone
How to Apply for Unemployment Online in Alabama
Any time you want to file for unemployment compensation in Alabama, you can do so online. To get started, you will need to go to the Alabama Department of Labor website. Not only can you fill out an online application for unemployment, but you can also check the status of your initial unemployment benefits claim or weekly certifications for an active benefits claim.
Keep in mind that you will not be allowed to file an online application for unemployment if:
- You filed a claim in a state other than Alabama in the past 12 months.
- You worked for the federal government in the last 18 months and were not laid off due to government shutdown.
- You worked as a merchant seaman in the past 18 months.
- You are currently located outside the United States of America.
Should any of these situations apply, you must call the Unemployment Compensation Telephone Claims line at 866-234-5382 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Once you have logged on to the Alabama DOL website, you must follow the instructions on the screen. You will need the following information on hand in order to proceed with your Alabama online application for unemployment benefits:
- Your Social Security Number
- Your work history for the last 18 months, including your employers’ business names, addresses, telephone numbers and dates of employment
- Your alien registration number (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
- Copy #4 of your DD Form 214 (if released from the military in the last 18 months)
- Your Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) certification letter and/or TAA petition number (if you are filing for Trade Adjustment Assistance Benefits)
- Name and local number of your union hiring hall (if you obtain your work through a union hiring hall)
- Your bank routing number and checking/savings account number (if direct deposit is desired)
- A telephone number at which you can be reached during business hours
Please make sure the information you provide is accurate, as it will be used to determine your eligibility for unemployment benefits. Note that state and federal laws provide penalties for making false statements to obtain unemployment benefits. All online applications for unemployment benefits in Alabama must be submitted by 4:30 p.m. Friday in order for your claim to be effective that week.
How to Apply for Unemployment Benefits in Alabama by Phone
If you are unable to access the internet or just prefer to complete your Alabama unemployment registration through another method, the state also allows you to file for unemployment benefits by phone. You can file an unemployment benefits claim by calling the Initial Claims Line at 1-866-234-5382. Your call will be answered by an electronic Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, which will ask you a few initial questions. You will then be connected to a customer service representative to complete your AL unemployment registration.