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.
Types Of Disability Policies
There are two types of disability policies.
Short-term policies may pay for up to two years. Most last for a few months to a year.
Long-term policies may pay benefits for a few years or until the disability ends.
Employers who offer coverage may provide short-term coverage, long-term coverage, or both.
If you plan to buy your own policy, shop around and ask:
How is disability defined?
How long do benefits last?
How much money will the policy pay?
How Do I Apply For Unemployment Benefits In Alabama
In response to the coronavirus outbreak, some states have imposed restrictions on people gathering in public locations. This may affect your ability to access physical offices of the the Alabama Department of Labor in person. Check Alabama’s unemployment insurance agency website for more information. And, read on to find out how you can file for unemployment insurance benefits in Alabama online or by phone.
Enhanced unemployment benefits under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act ended on September 6, 2021, and are no longer provided.
Alabama’s unemployment insurance agency website gives you the information you need to apply for unemployment insurance in Alabama. The Alabama Department of Labors website tells you:
- What information youll need on hand to apply for unemployment insurance benefits
- How to apply online for unemployment insurance benefits
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How Do I Submit My Unemployment Insurance Benefits Application
Unemployment insurance benefits can be obtained by filing a claim with the state unemployment insurance program in the state where you worked at the time of your unemployment. According to the state, you can file a claim in person, over the phone, or through the internet.
As soon as you are able after becoming unemployed, you should contact your states unemployment insurance program for assistance.
In most cases, you should file your claim with the state in which you were employed. If you worked in a state other than the one where you currently reside, or if you worked in multiple states, the state unemployment insurance agency in the state where you currently reside can provide you with information on how to file a claim with the unemployment insurance agencies in the other states.
When you file a claim, you will be required to provide certain information, such as your previous addresses and employment dates, among other things. Make certain to provide complete and accurate information in order to avoid a delay in processing your claim.
It takes two to three weeks on average after filing a claim before you begin receiving payments from the Social Security Administration.
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Contacting The Alabama Department Of Labor
In response to the coronavirus outbreak, some states are imposing restrictions on people gathering in public locations. This may affect your ability to access physical offices of the the Alabama Department of Labor in person. Check Alabama’s unemployment insurance agency website for more information. In some states, you can even contact the unemployment agency by snail mail. You can find the contact information for the Alabama Department of Labor in Benefit Rights and Responsibilities: A Handbook for Alabama Unemployment Compensation Claimants. The handbook lists the addresses and phone numbers to reach the Alabama Department of Labor if you have questions or you want to follow up on your claim for unemployment benefits.
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Who Is Eligible To Collect Unemployment Insurance
In normal times, according to the US Department of Labor, you’re eligible for UI benefits if you:
1. Lose your job through no fault of your own.
2. Meet the work and wage requirements established by your state as well as any additional state requirements.
That noted, the eligibility criteria was adjusted in 2020 with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, but those pandemic unemployment benefits have since expired. Still, in most cases, you can be denied if it can be proved that you quit your job without “good cause” or if you were discharged for misconduct or lack of compliance with employer policies.
Alabama Unemployment Law Guide
- Get answers to common questions about unemployment for those who have lost work due to COVID-19.
- You’ll need to file weekly claims and search for work to keep collecting unemployment benefits.
- Find out the weekly unemployment benefit limits in Alabama.
- Learn how to find and contact the Alabama unemployment agency.
- Find out how to appeal if your unemployment benefits claim is denied by the Alabama Department of Labor.
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How To File Weekly Claims
To file your weekly claims, visit the ADL website or use the unemployment compensation division touch-tone voice process system.
To file your weekly claims you will need your social security number and Personal Identification Number which you established when you filed your unemployment claim.
Weekly claim certifications can be claimed by 12.01 AM Sunday through 5.00 PM on Friday . You must file for your weekly claims no later than 5 pm each Friday.
Time Work And Benefits
As noted above, you may work part-time and continue to receive unemployment compensation. However, those benefits will be reduced by the amount of money you earn. If you earn more than your weekly benefit amount, you will not be eligible for benefits for that week.
You must report any earnings while you are receiving unemployment. Failure to report benefits will subject you to a penalty. You may not be able to collect unemployment in Alabama, and you will have to repay any benefits you earned.
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How To Get Cobra
Group health plans must give covered employees and their families a notice explaining their COBRA rights. Plans must have rules for how COBRA coverage is offered, how beneficiaries may choose to get it and when they can stop coverage. For more COBRA information, see COBRA Premium Subsidy. The page links to information about COBRA including:
The Cares Act And Alabama Unemployment Insurance
The CARES Act implemented programs that added to and extended the bounds of unemployment compensation. These programs included Pandemic Unemployment Assistance , the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program. All of these initiatives are fully funded by the federal government, which means that employers will not be charged for any benefits paid under the programs provided by the CARES Act.
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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
Employers Filing Partial Claims For Employees
The Alabama Department of Labor issued a press release stating that all charges will be waived against employers who file partial unemployment compensation claims on behalf of their employee. The Alabama Department of Labor is encouraging all employers who can file on their employees behalf to do so and has stressed that the employers experience ratings will not be affected by COVID-19 related claims.
Employers with five or more employees can electronically file a partial claim for their workers for a maximum of three consecutive weeks during which the employee has no earnings, but during which the employer wishes to retain them. In order for employers in Alabama to file partial claims on behalf of their employees in bulk, they need to do the following:
Complete and submit a printed Employer Affidavit for Electronic Partials .
Have an unemployment compensation account number and the coinciding federal ID number.
Complete the Partial Bulk Filing Spreadsheet.
Select either to submit an upload or key individual claims to the CPUB application, but not both.
The Alabama Department of Labor will not accept incomplete files, so the employer must make necessary corrections to resubmit in those situations. In order for a partial claim to be complete, an employee must input his or her payment method during the first week in which the employee does not work.
Employers Unable to File for Employees
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How Can I Find A Good Unemployment Lawyer In Alabama
There are several ways to find a good lawyer to help with your unemployment claim in Alabama. The best way to find a lawyer is always through a referral from someone you know. Ask family members, friends, and other professionals you work with whether they can recommend a good employment lawyer.
Lawyers specialize, so your friends divorce lawyer wont be the right person to handle your unemployment appeal. However, lawyers also know other lawyers, so dont hesitate to ask a well-recommended lawyer in a different field for an employment lawyer referral.
If you cant find a lawyer through personal referrals, here are a couple of other options:
- Check with the Alabama Bar Association for information about lawyer referral services in Alabama.
When Do You Not Get Paid Partial Unemployment
This is the amount of partial unemployment benefits payable for the week. Your weekly benefit amount will be reduced when your earnings exceed half of your weekly benefit amount. You will not be paid benefits for that week if your earnings equal or exceed your weekly benefit amount or if you work 35 or more hours that week.
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How Long Will My Unemployment Benefits Last In Alabama
In Alabama, the duration of benefits depends on the state’s unemployment rate when you apply. The maximum period for which you can receive benefits ranges from 14 to 20 weeks.
In times of high unemployment, additional weeks of benefits may be available under a different federal program, the Extended Benefits program .
Each state sets its own rules for how long unemployment benefits last. Until quite recently, virtually all states offered a maximum of 26 weeks of benefits. In the last five or six years, however, some states have changed their rules on duration of benefits .
Am I Eligible For Unemployment Benefits If I Get Fired
If your employer dismisses you with good cause, you will not be eligible to receive unemployment compensation. If your actions while employed violated the employers rules, you wont be eligible. However, in some cases, it may be possible to show that you were unfairly discharged. In those cases, you may be eligible. You will have to state the circumstances of your dismissal when you apply for benefits.
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Voluntary Repayment Of Overpaid Benefits
After you are notified of the overpayment of benefits, you have the option to voluntarily pay back the state. The Alabama Department of Labor allows payments to be made online or by mail via money order, personal check, cashiers check, or certified check.
If you cannot afford to pay the amount back in full, the Alabama Department of Labor allows you to contact the Benefit Control Section to arrange a repayment agreement, which must be in writing. Or so long as the overpayment was not the result of fraud, by law the state may offset your weekly benefit payment until the overpaid amount is repaid.
Penalties For Unemployment Benefit Fraud
The total amount of benefits you fraudulently received are added up to an aggregate amount which determines the degree of the charge you are facing.
- Less than $500 is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year imprisonment
- $500 to $2500 is a Class C felony punishable by one to ten years imprisonment
- Over $2,500 is a Class B felony punishable by two to 20 years imprisonment
If convicted, the state requires you to pay restitution to the Department of Labor instead of the criminal penalty of fines, with the minimum amount being the amount of benefits you fraudulently obtained.
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Base Period And Minimum Earnings Requirement
Most states have this requirement. Its simply for you to show the state youve actually been working so that you can receive a sufficient amount of funds to help sustain you while you find another job. The base period is used to make the determination of how much money you earned in the past, and how much will keep you going.
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How Unemployment Works In Alabama
And How To Get Unemployment in Alabama
How To Apply For Ui Benefits In Alabama
You will need the following documents to file claims in the state of Alabama
To apply for Alabama unemployment benefits you will need to share your:
Online: To apply for benefits in Alabama, you must log in to .Click on establish a new claim or reopen a UC claim and follow the prompts. You can apply for benefits online at any time and place convenient to you.
Telephone: If you do not have access to a working internet connection you can dial 866-234-5382 to file for UI benefits in Alabama. Use a touch-tone phone while filing your claim. If access is not available to a touch-tone phone use a designated telephone at any local Alabama Career Center.
You will then be asked a series of questions that require you to answer by pressing certain numbers on your touch-tone telephone keypad. Later you may be transferred to a claims specialist which may require you to give additional information to complete your claim.
For follow-ups and general information, call the toll free call centerline at or visit labor www.labor.alabama.gov.
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My Application Was Denied What Can I Do Now
If the unemployment division denies your application for unemployment benefits, you may file an appeal. You can file an appeal for any reason you find to disagree with the denial of benefits. However, you must file your appeal within 15 calendar days of the mailing date of the notice of denial .
In Alabama, you must file your appeal in writing and deliver it by fax or mail.
Alabama Department of Labor649 Monroe Street, Room 4677Montgomery, Alabama 36131Fax: 956-5891
Be sure to sign your appeal letter and include your social security number on your letter.
Filing a timely appeal is important. If your appeal is late, the Appeals Division will not hear your appeal. The Division will deny your appeal on a finding of failure to file a timely appeal. If you happen to file late, you may appeal the decision not to hear your claim. However, you must be able to show you had a good reason for being late.
If you are denied benefits, please visit our section on appealing benefits decision in Alabama.
For further information, the Alabama Department of Labor has several resources available to you.
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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