How Do I Apply For Federal Unemployment Benefits
You donât. Even though new federal statutes affect unemployment benefits, each state still manages and administers unemployment benefits, including the $300 in supplemental relief. Find your state unemployment office here.;
Be Patient and PersistentBecause so many people are filing, and this is a new program, new unemployment claims across the country are coming in at an unusually high volume. For the first round of stimulus in March 2020, direct deposits began arriving around 2 weeks after the program began, but due to outdated and backed up computer systems, some states were slower to pay them, and even slower to pay through other means. State websites may be slow and phone lines may be tied up. Donât give up! You may have to try refreshing the web page or continue to call back in order to file your claim.
Do I Qualify For Unemployment Benefits
To qualify for unemployment insurance in Alabama, there are a few basic requirements you must meet. These include the following:
- You must have earned wages in at least two quarters of your base period. A base period is defined as the first four quarters of the last five quarters, dating back from the time your claim is filed. So if you file in March 2020, your base period would be the 12 months running from October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019;
- Your total wages during your base period must be greater than 1.5 times the amount of earnings you received in your highest quarter during your base period.
- You must be able to work and willing to accept suitable work.
- You must be actively looking for a full-time job.
- Your job loss must not have been your fault.
While generally, you must be able to work in order to qualify, Alabama has different rules for workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are in mandatory quarantine because you have or are suspected to have COVID-19 and unable to work, you will be eligible for benefits. If the novel coronavirus has caused your hours to be reduced, you may qualify so you should put in an application.;
Employees who impose self-quarantines are generally not eligible because the employee is voluntarily choosing not to work.
How Have Unemployment Benefits Changed
The coronavirus pandemic and unprecedented public health measures implemented in most states have had a massive impact on the United States economy. Record numbers of Americans have filed for unemployment benefits since the pandemic began. If you are unemployed, you will likely want to know what benefits and support are available to you until you find your next job.
On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law, extending sections of previous pandemic-related plans Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021) and adding some new provisions. The Act provides additional benefits for workers affected by the pandemic.
Beginning in early May 2021, some states announced that they would opt out of pandemic-related unemployment insurance programs early.;;
Each state has its own unemployment insurance system and will be responsible for administering both state benefits and supplemental federal benefits. We are here to help you understand how the Act affects the benefits you can claim.
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How Much Money Is Left In Alabamas Unemployment Fund
Two months ago, Alabama had its highest amount of money in the state’s unemployment fund.
Just two months ago, Alabama had its highest amount of money ever in the Department of Labors unemployment fund.
Then came the pandemic, and almost half a million Alabamians have filed for aid since. So how healthy is the fund now?
Well, the short answer is theres nothing to worry about in the near future. Lets recap.
Through February, Alabama recorded a 2.7 percent unemployment rate, its best percentage ever. At that time, Alabama had roughly $700 million in its unemployment fund.
The coming of strict lockdown measures to stem the COVID-19 outbreak descended in mid-March, and unemployment compensation claims in Alabama, as with the rest of the nation, began to shoot into the stratosphere. As of last week, 447,990 Alabamians had filed for unemployment, according to Alabama Department of Labor statistics.
When the outbreak started, Alabamians received a maximum weekly unemployment benefit of $275 for 14 weeks, with an option to add more if in qualified training. One of the provisions of the federal $2.2 trillion CARES Act, signed into law by President Trump in March, added another $600 on top of the weekly amount.
Of that, the state has paid out $503,011,424 to 206,694 claimants from March 16 through May 1, 2020.
ADOL says it has issued payments to 84 percent of those filing COVID-19 related active claims since March 16.
How Do I Apply For Unemployment Benefits
You can file your claim for unemployment benefits online at the Alabama Department of Labor website.;
You also have the option to file your claim by calling the Initial Claims Line at 234-5382. This will connect you to an electronic Interactive Voice Response and you’ll answer some questions before being routed to a customer service representative to help you complete the application process.
To file your claim for benefits, you’ll need:
- Your Social Security number
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Alabama To Begin Additional $300 In Weekly Unemployment Benefits
Alabama on Sept. 3 will begin paying an additional $300 per week in unemployment benefits to those who qualify, Gov. Kay Ivey and Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington announced Thursday.
Alabama has been approved to pay for four weeks of benefits retroactively, beginning on Aug. 1 and running through August 22. Future weeks of the additional aid will be applied for on a weekly basis and are subject to approval, according to a press release from the Alabama Department of Labor.
To be eligible for the benefit, recipients must receive at least $100 in an approved Unemployment Compensation program weekly benefits and must certify that they are unemployed or partially unemployed due to the disruptions caused by COVID-19.
The Department of Labor noted that It can take up to 48 hours for payments to post to accounts, and payments could be delayed because Monday is Labor Day, a banking holiday.
Funding for the additional aid comes from FEMA disaster relief funds, and the money could run out at any time, the Alabama Department of Labor noted in the release.
Those who are eligible for the extra aid will be notified by the Alabama Department of Labor through their Tracker and through the U.S. Mail.
How To Calculate Alabama Unemployment
This article was co-authored by Clinton M. Sandvick, JD, PhD. Clinton M. Sandvick worked as a civil litigator in California for over 7 years. He received his JD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998 and his PhD in American History from the University of Oregon in 2013. This article has been viewed 54,474 times.
Unemployment benefits are paid to workers in the state of Alabama to provide financial support while the individual searches for new employment. Employers in the state pay into the unemployment compensation fund through payroll taxes based on the earnings of workers. In order to receive benefits, you must first qualify and file a claim. You should calculate your likely benefits before filing a claim in order to gauge your eligibility.
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Are You Out Of Work Through No Fault Of Your Own
In Alabama, as in other states, you must be out of work through no fault of your own to qualify for unemployment benefits.
Collecting Unemployment After a Layoff
If you were laid off, lost your job in a reduction-in-force , or got “downsized” for economic reasons, you will meet this requirement.
Collecting Unemployment After Being Fired
If you were fired because you lacked the skills to perform the job or simply weren’t a good fit, you won’t necessarily be barred from receiving benefits. However, if you were fired for misconduct relating to your job, you won’t be able to receive benefits. Absences or tardiness, failing to follow the rules, endangering the safety of coworkers, and disregarding instructions or orders are all considered misconduct. The seriousness of the misconduct, whether you were warned about the problems, and any steps you took to correct the behavior will determine the effect of your firing on your eligibility for benefits.
Collecting Unemployment After Quitting
If you quit your job, you won’t be eligible for unemployment benefits unless you had good cause connected with your work. In general, good cause means that your reason for leaving the position was job-related and was so compelling that you had no other choice than to leave. For example, if you left your job because of dangerous working conditions or sexual harassment that your employer refused to stop, you may be able to collect benefits.
Alabama Governor Orders End To Federal Covid Unemployment Benefits
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Monday ordered the state to terminate all participation in federally funded pandemic unemployment compensation programs.
Why it matters: Ivey, like South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster , cited labor shortages, but some experts say it’s the job climate and not unemployment benefits that is determining people’s return to work.
Details: The order is effective June 19 and puts an end to:
- Additional $300 weekly payments to recipients of unemployment compensation.
- Benefits for workers who usually would not qualify, such as gig or part-time workers.
- Extension of benefits.
- An additional $100 benefit to some people with mixed earnings.
What they’re saying:“As Alabamas economy continues its recovery, we are hearing from more and more business owners and employers that it is increasingly difficult to find workers to fill available jobs, even though job openings are abundant,” Ivey said in a statement.
- “Alabama is giving the federal government our 30-day notice that its time to get back to work.”
Of note: Alabama has an unemployment rate of 3.8%, lower than the national rate of 6%.
The big picture: Ivey’s announcement follows similar moves by South Carolina and Montana.
- A Labor Department spokesperson told AP that the department has seen no evidence that enhanced unemployment benefits keep people from seeking work.
- “Choosing to eliminate these critical benefits will have the greatest impact on the most vulnerable,” the spokesperson said.
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Essential Information For Employers On Alabamas Unemployment Benefits And Covid
The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in critical changes to workforces across the United States. In the state of Alabama, there have been more than 306,000 unemployment claims filed since March 16, 2020. The Alabama Department of Labor has taken steps to respond to the situation, including modifying certain;unemployment compensation eligibility requirements;to better address the fluid needs of employers and employees during the crisis. In addition, the federal government has implemented programs extending and adding protections for those workers not traditionally eligible for unemployment compensation under Alabama law. What follows are some key points for Alabama employers and employees seeking information on the latest developments regarding unemployment compensation in the state.
File Quarterly Ui Tax Reports And Payments
In Alabama, UI tax reports and payments are due the last day of the month following the end of the quarter. In other words, reports and payments are due by the following dates:
- 1st Quarter returns and payments due on or before April 30
- 2nd Quarter returns and payments due on or before July 31
- 3rd Quarter returns and payments due on or before October 31, and
- 4th Quarter returns and payments due on or before January 31.
All reports and payments must be filed electronically . Use ADOL’s website. You will be filing the information formerly included on paper Forms UC-CR-4 and UC-10-R. You’ll make payments through the online system by Electronic Funds Transfer .
You must file quarterly returns even if your business paid no wages during a quarter. You will be subject to a penalty if you fail to file.
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Eligibility Requirements For Alabama Unemployment Benefits
In Alabama, the Department of Labor handles unemployment benefits and determines eligibility on a case-by-case basis. Applicants must meet the following three eligibility requirements in order to collect unemployment benefits in Alabama:
- You must have earned at least a minimum amount in wages before you were unemployed.
- You must be unemployed through no fault of your own, as defined by Alabama law.
- You must be able and available to work, and you must be actively seeking employment.
Other Unemployment Insurance Provisions Under The Cares Act:
The CARES Act improved unemployment benefits in the following ways:
- It provides an;additional $600 per week;in benefits and payments through July 31, 2020.
- It adds an;additional 13 weeks;of benefits through December 31, 2020. Most states currently offer 26 weeks of unemployment benefits .
- it expands benefits for part-time, seasonal, self-employed, and contract workers .
- Offers to reimburse the cost for states that waive the one-week waiting period before paying benefits.
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Alabama To End Participation In Federally Funded Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Programs
This is effective June 19, 2021.
Alabama will end its participation in all federally funded pandemic unemployment compensation programs effective June 19, 2021, Gov. Kay Ivey announced Monday.
This includes the following programs:
- Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation , which provides for an additional $300 weekly payment to recipients of unemployment compensation.
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance , which provides benefits for those who would not usually qualify, such as the self-employed, gig workers, and part-time workers,
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation , which provides for an extension of benefits once regular benefits have been exhausted, and
- Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation , which provides an additional $100 benefit to certain people with mixed earnings.
Iveys announcement says any weeks filed prior to and up to June 19 that are eligible under any of the federal program requirements will continue to be processed under these programs.
This decision comes as many businesses are struggling to find employees. Throughout downtown Huntsville, ‘We’re hiring’ signs are posted outside restaurants and bars.;
At MELT, they set up 30 interviews recently and only one or two people showed up.;
“It’s frustrating because I mean we just have everything set up, we made appointments for them and then nobody showed up for the appointments, the interviews,” MELT Manager Jennifer Hurt said.;
For Hurt, business is picking up, so having a full staff is crucial.
Talk To A Tax Attorney
Need a lawyer? Start here.
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Rules For Ui Tax Liability
In Alabama, most for-profit employers are liable for state UI taxes as soon as they have either:
- employed one or more workers on some day in 20 or more different weeks, whether or not consecutive, during the current or preceding calendar year, or
- paid wages of $1,500 or more in any calendar quarter during the current or preceding calendar year.
These are effectively the same rules that apply for liability under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act . In addition, if your business acquires another business that was liable for Alabama UI taxeswhich is known as “successorship”your business, too, will be liable for state UI taxes. Different rules, not covered here, apply to agricultural workers, domestic workers, and employees of some non-profit organizations.
One piece of good news is that state UI tax payments generally can be credited against your FUTA taxes.
How Do I Apply
To receive unemployment insurance benefits, you need to file a claim with the unemployment insurance program in the state where you worked. Depending on the state, claims may be filed in person, by telephone, or online.
- You should contact your;state’s unemployment insurance program;as soon as possible after becoming unemployed.
- Generally, you should file your claim with the state where you worked. If you worked in a state other than the one where you now live or if you worked in multiple states, the state unemployment insurance agency where you now live can provide information about how to file your claim with other states.
- When you file a claim, you will be asked for certain information, such as addresses and dates of your former employment. To make sure your claim is not delayed, be sure to give complete and correct information.
- It generally takes two to three weeks after you file your claim to receive your first benefit check.
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Cut Unemployment Benefits Will Hit Workers Of Color The Hardest
There are significant racial consequences that will follow the decisions to eliminate federal pandemic benefits. Fifty percent of South Carolina Unemployment Insurance recipients are Black, as are 54 percent of Alabamians on UI and 66 percent of Mississippis claimant population, three times or more than the national average of 18 percent. The employers complaining the most about worker shortages are the ones that have depended on a largely disempowered, non-unionized, Black workforce that make low wages. The cut-offs affecting these states thus will particularly target Black communities that endured near or over 10 percent unemployment rates as recently as the end of September . Federal unemployment programs, like PUA and PUC, were put into place to make up for the economic inequities that high-unemployment communities have faced as a result of state policies . Moreover, Black Americans have been hit the hardest by the pandemic and have special reason to be reticent about returning to work in states that have reopened despite low vaccination rates. The governors who have made the move to cut off benefits have rejected the leveling impact of federal programs, subjecting their most vulnerable populations to greatly increased risk of poverty and COVID-19 infection.