Alabama’s Unemployment Compensation (UC) Division oversees the payment of unemployment benefits to workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own, such as through company layoffs, businesses closing, etc. (If you got fired for disciplinary reasons you likely won’t qualify for unemployment.) Note that unemployment benefits are taxable. Your eligibility for unemployment benefits and the amount you receive will depend on your recent work history. (See http://www.labor.alabama.gov/docs/guides/uc_brr.pdf for a complete understanding of eligibility and the calculation of benefit amounts.)
In order to get your unemployment benefits, you can apply online or by phone:
- To file for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits online, go to https://labor.alabama.gov/uc/Claims/default.aspx. You should read the page of information, then hit the “Proceed” button on the bottom of the page.
- To file by telephone, the phone number is 1-866-234-5382 (or the TTY/TDD number is 1-800-499-2035). You must call between 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM, Monday – Friday for help.
It usually takes 2-3 weeks before you will begin to receive your first unemployment benefit payment. You can receive benefits via Direct Deposit to your checking or savings account, or you can choose to have the money put on a AL Vantage debit card, which will be sent to you. (You can access your debit card balance at https://www.eppicard.com/.)
You must continue to seek work each week that you are receiving unemployment benefits, and you may be asked questions about your activities in seeking work to determine your ongoing eligibility. So keep a record of any job opportunities you pursued. Your unemployment claim application registers you with the Alabama State Employment Service office, which may offer you job referrals. You can access that application via the Alabama Job Link site at http://www.joblink.alabama.gov.
Once you’ve applied for unemployment benefits, you will still need to file a Weekly Claim Certification either online (https://labor.alabama.gov/uc/ICCS/PG000_Revised_LoginUser.aspx) or by phone (phone numbers at http://www.labor.alabama.gov/uc/phone.aspx). You must do this even BEFORE you’ve actually received any benefits. The Weekly Claim Certification is done in order to verify that you still need unemployment benefits, that you still qualify for unemployment, and that you have been seeking work. It needs to be filed by 5PM each Friday.
Of course if you do return to work you will need to report that, and a determination will be made as to whether you are still eligible for any benefits.
See http://www.labor.alabama.gov/docs/guides/uc_brr.pdf for complete details on all aspects of Alabama unemployment insurance benefits.