The sections below will explain how to apply for unemployment online, as well as how claimants can determine whether or not they qualify for UI benefits. The process to claim unemployment benefits is rigorous and detailed, but with proper preparation and planning, applicants will have a better chance of submitting successful applications.
What is unemployment in Alabama?
In Alabama unemployment assistance is administered through the Department of Labor. Beyond simply distributing UI benefits to program enrollees, the Department is responsible for evaluating unemployment insurance coverage among applicants, conducting interviews with potential beneficiaries and ensuring all UI information is accurately and punctually distributed. Alabama UI is a popular program, and these stipends are available to state workers who are recently unemployed and who are currently searching for work.
What are the requirements to get unemployment in Alabama?
Eligibility for unemployment in Alabama, while detailed, offers a list of straightforward requirements to applicants. Qualifications for UI fall into specific categories, which claimants can see below:
- Reasons for job loss — In order to meet UI eligibility, candidates must have lost their positions due to circumstances that were out of their control. This means that, in most cases, petitioners must not have quit their jobs. However, possible situations that can help candidates decide who qualified for unemployment would include workers who were laid off or who were fired due to reasons that were not related to misconduct.
- Prospective employment — Qualifications for UI state that claimants must be ready and willing to work any suitable jobs that they are offered. Furthermore, candidates must be actively searching for work during their application process and throughout their enrollment in the program, if their applications are approved. Therefore, candidates who cannot work because they do not have reliable transportation or because they do not have suitable child care options are unlikely to met UI eligibility requirements.
- Financial history — Eligibility for unemployment enrollment requires that petitioners have made at least an average of $1,157.01 during their two highest quarters during their base periods. This means that, during their base periods, candidates must have made at least that amount of money during the six-month period. For UI purposes, the base period refers to a 12 year time that is divided into four quarters. To determine which quarters the Department will use for the base period, candidates must establish their current quarter. The quarter in which petitioners are requiring, as well as the previous quarter, is omitted from this calculation. Therefore, the final of four consecutive quarters would be the one before the applicant’s previous quarter.
Qualifications for unemployment are also available to candidates who have their work hours reduced due to circumstances that are outside of their control. In these instances, petitioners will only know if they meet the program’s eligibility requirements after they have been accepted into the program and their weekly benefit amount is determined. This is because UI eligibility for these candidates states that enrollees are only able to receive benefits if their weekly income is less than their weekly benefits amount. Since the state’s maximum weekly benefits amount is $265, candidates who make more than that figure can assume they will not be eligible for unemployment in AL.
How can I sign up for unemployment in Alabama?
Candidates may wonder how to apply for unemployment online once they learn they may eligible to receive stipends through this program. In addition, candidates may more generally wonder, “How can I sign up for unemployment in AL?” Throughout the state, candidates have the opportunity to apply either through the Department’s online web portal or by using a touch-screen phone and calling the Department’s toll-free number. Regardless whether they submit an online application for UI or apply over the phone, claimants will need to produce their:
- Social Security Numbers.
- Names, addresses and dates of their most recent employers.
- Drivers licenses or state-issued identification numbers.
- Mothers’ maiden names.
To apply for unemployment benefits in Alabama, claimants who are non-United States citizens or who are former military members will need to provide additional documentation. Military members will need the member 4 copy of their DD214 forms, and non-citizens must produce their work authorization numbers when they apply. In addition, when all candidates file for a UI claim, they will need to provide written reasons for their departures. In order to write their explanations as concisely and succinctly as possible, candidates should prepare ahead of time.
How do I prepare for the unemployment insurance interview in Alabama?
The Department may need to conduct an unemployment phone interview once applicants submit their claims. There may be a UI interview with employer or claimant depending on the need for the interview. In order to prepare for the unemployment insurance interview, the interviewees must understand why these conversations are being conducted.
Questions asked during UI interview are situation-specific, and the Department requires these interviews when potential eligibility issues arise in claimants’ applications. In general, these points of conflict can be divided into separation and non-separation issues. An unemployment interview with employer will likely be necessary during cases with separation issues, whereas non-separation issues will oftentimes only require a UI interview with claimant. Separation issues arise after applicants submit their materials. During this time, the claimants’ most recent employers are contacted and notified about their former employees’ UI requests. Employers are then asked to submit testimonies regarding their former employees’ departures, and if this information conflicts with what the applicant provided, interviews will be necessary.
In these types of interviews, figuring out how to pass the unemployment interview is not a question over which either party should be preoccupied. The goal of these UI interviews is for the Department to gain a clear understanding regarding the claimants’ departures. Therefore, employers and employees should instead concern themselves with providing as accurate and cohesive information to the interviewers as possible.
A UI phone interview in AL will also be necessary for non-separation issues. These problems generally arise when the Department needs to discern whether or not candidates are able to work. This UI interview with claimant can take various forms, but generally, questions will relate to whether or not candidates are physically able to work. In these situations, potential questions during the UI interview could include:
- Do the petitioners have any illnesses or injuries that would prevent them from working?
- Are the petitioners actively searching for suitable employment?
- Do the petitioners qualify for UI based on their financial histories?
- Have the petitioners refused suitable work?
When preparing for the unemployment phone interview in these instances, candidates must focus on providing candid information to their Department interviewers. Providing specific information, regarding documentation relating to their health and job search efforts, could be advantageous, as well.
How do I claim unemployment benefits in Alabama?
In most cases, approved candidates are eligible to claim unemployment benefits in Alabama for up to 26 weeks during a calendar year. Enrollees may collect on a UI benefits claim once their petitions are approved, and their money is electronically deposited into their corresponding accounts. However, beneficiaries must remember they are only able to continue claiming benefits for UI so long as they continue to meet specific program requirements that must be fulfilled throughout applicants’ enrollment in UI.
When enrollees research how to maintain an unemployment benefits claim, they will notice they need to file a weekly certification of benefits for each week they are enrolled in the program. This is used to monitor financial eligibility. To claim UI benefits in AL, enrollees must submit their weekly certification for benefits every week. This may be done online or by calling the weekly certification number, which is provided to applicants when they file their initial claims.
To claim UI benefits in AL, acceptees must also make sure they fulfill the program’s work search requirements. This, like submitting a weekly certification of benefits, is an imperative part of the enrollment process. In order to maintain an active UI benefits claim, Alabama resident enrollees must register with the Alabama Career Center System. This online marketplace is designed to connect prospective workers with employers who are actively hiring. In addition, beneficiaries must enroll in the Alabama JobLink website. Here, candidates must create a portfolio and upload their resumes. Through this site, petitioners who want to continue claiming benefits for unemployment must apply to jobs and contact prospective employers. Candidates must consistently fulfill these two requirements in order to continue receiving UI benefits.
What do I do if I am denied unemployment benefits in Alabama?
Claimants who are denied unemployment in Alabama are able to file a first-level administrative appeal. These must be sent to the Hearing and Appeals Division within 15 days from when the original decision was mailed or within seven days from when the claimant received the decision in-person. Employers may also file appeals. In order to file an appeal for denied UI benefits, candidates must include in their appeals:
- Their full names.
- The reasons for the appeal.
- The last four digits of their Social Security Numbers.
These appeals may be submitted via mail or fax. Once the UI benefits appeals are submitted, both parties will receive a Notice of Unemployment Compensation Telephone Hearing, which will arrive in the mail. During the unemployment denial appeal, either party may submit supporting evidence that justifies their claims, and after the hearings, Hearing Officers will distribute their written decisions via mail. Following the same procedures, parties may refute the Hearing Officers’ decisions by submitting an appeal to the Board of Appeals. Finally, candidates who have their unemployment compensation benefits denied may file an appeal within 30 days of the of the Board of Appeals’ decisions to the Circuit Court. Throughout any of these stages, parties are allowed to include witness in their testimonies. Similarly, they are allowed to have legal representation, although it is not required.
How can I apply for a federal unemployment extension in Alabama?
During cases of extreme statewide underemployment, a federal unemployment extension may be offered. The goal of this program is to offer UI beneficiaries additional support during widespread periods of joblessness. However, this unemployment benefits extension is not generally offered, and it must be approved by the federal government. When it is available, though, candidates who have exhausted their 26 weeks of benefits may contact their UI office to request additional enrollment in the program.
How do I contact the Alabama unemployment office?
Candidates and enrollees with specific questions regarding their UI applications may wish to contact the Alabama unemployment office. In order to do so, individuals may call different cities’ various UI offices. In addition, interested parties may find the state’s capital office at:
694 Monroe Street
Montgomery, AL 36131