Alabama Unemployment Benefits Extensions
If you are wondering, “How can I extend unemployment benefits?” there actually is a solution. Once you exhaust your initial unemployment claim benefits, you can extend that claim in the state of Alabama with a 20-week unemployment extension program called High Unemployment Extended Benefits Compensation (HEB). In order to qualify for HEB, you must meet the same eligibility requirements established for initial unemployment benefits.
Keep in mind, however, that although the Alabama Unemployment Compensation Law provides for unemployment compensation extensions for claimants who have exhausted their benefits, this only applies during periods of high unemployment. Check with the Alabama Department of Labor for announcements regarding beginning and ending dates of any AL unemployment extension periods.
How to Get an Unemployment Extension in Alabama
If your initial unemployment benefits run out and you need to file for an unemployment extension, the state of Alabama allows you to do so. However, you must first meet the eligibility requirements. Generally speaking, you must meet particular income qualifications, and you must have lost your job due to no fault of your own. Also, you must be actively seeking employment.
Applying for an Alabama unemployment benefits extension requires you to gather some important information such as:
- Your Social Security Number
- Your complete work history
- Your reason for unemployment
- Your job search history
With this information, you can apply for extended unemployment benefits through the Alabama Department of Labor during periods of high unemployment. However, you must remember to continue to look for work while you wait for an unemployment benefits extension decision. Failure to do so will disqualify you from obtaining an Alabama unemployment compensation extension.
Federal Unemployment Extension Programs in Alabama
If you find yourself asking, “What can I do to extend unemployment benefits?” and you begin to search for solutions online, you may stumble upon some information regarding a federal program called Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC). This federal unemployment extension program is a four-tier system that offers benefits for a total of up to 53 weeks. Unfortunately, while this used to be a critical method for U.S. citizens to obtain AL unemployment extension benefits, the program is not currently active.
When the federal unemployment extension program is active (during times of high unemployment), Alabama residents, upon exhausting their initial benefits claim, can apply for EUC benefits. In Alabama during times of high state unemployment, an EUC application is automatically filed for you once you use up your initial unemployment benefits.
When active, the EUC program featured four separate tiers with different benefit timelines and requirements:
- EUC Tier 1 provided up to 14 weeks of benefits to claimants who exhausted regular UI benefits. There was no state unemployment rate requirement in order to belong to Tier 1.
- EUC Tier 2 provided up to 14 weeks of benefits to claimants who exhausted EUC Tier 1 benefits. As of June 1, 2012, Tier 2 required a three-month seasonally adjusted total unemployment rate of at least six percent.
- EUC Tier 3 provided up to nine weeks of benefits to claimants who exhausted Tier 2 benefits. It was available in states with unemployment rates of at least seven percent.
- EUC Tier 4 provided up to 10 weeks of benefits and was available in states with unemployment rates of at least nine percent.
As you exhausted each tier of the EUC program, your application for the next tier was automatically filed for you. Applicants received a letter in the mail as they moved up to each tier, which informed them of how many weeks of benefits they would receive.
All individuals who received EUC unemployment extension benefits were required to actively seek employment each week. These individuals had to keep a record of job search contacts on a weekly basis. EUC08 recipients were also subject to random audits verifying that they were appropriately seeking work.
Finally, all EUC08 claimants were required to attend a scheduled Eligibility Assessment and Reemployment Activity when initially filing for Tier 1 benefits or after qualifying for Tier 2 benefits. If a claimant did not participate in these reemployment activities, he or she would lose these Alabama unemployment extension benefits.
While this federal unemployment extension program remains inactive (since December 28, 2013), high unemployment rates could lead to it being reinstated. Also, during times when EUC is active, the federal EB program (Extended Benefits) may also be reinstated, which provides extended benefits to those unemployed individuals who exhaust all four tiers of EUC.