How To File For Alabama Unemployment
This page provides information on how to file for unemployment in Alabama. If you lost your job or your hours were reduced at no fault of your own, you may qualify to receive unemployment benefits in your state. Review the information below, if you still have questions or issues about these benefits, then we suggest to contact your local Alabama Unemployment Department for assistance. It is important that you file your new claim right away because Alabama unemployment insurance are not retroactive.
If you live in Alabama and need to file unemployment, then read the information listed below. It is recommended that you file for Alabama unemployment immediately. Your claim will go into effect on the Sunday proceeding the day that you file for benefits either over the phone or online. Your claim will be in effect for 365 days from that Sunday. If you have read the information on this page and still have questions, you can contact the Alabama Department of Labor for further assistance.
How to file an Alabama unemployment claim
You can file your unemployment claim either online at File Alabama Unemployment Claim Online or over the phone by calling 866-234-5382. Your call will be answered by an electronic Interactive Voice Response system, which will ask you some initial questions. You will then be automatically connected to one of their friendly Customer Service Representatives to complete your claim. They recommend that you do not use a cell telephone for this process because calls may be dropped by your service prior to their system saving the information. If you are on a temporary lay-off and will be going back to work for the same employer, your employer may have arranged to file your claim at your place of employment. Check with your employer if you think this has been arranged.
What is needed to file a claim
In order to file your Alabama unemployment claim, you will need your social security number and the name, correct address, and dates of employment for your most recent employer. In order to verify your identity, they will also need a driver's license or state issued ID card number and your mother's maiden name. If you are separating from the military, you will also need the member 4 copy of your DD214. If you are not a US citizen, you must provide them with your work authorization number.
You must have wages in at least 2 quarters of your qualifying period, also called the base period. The base period is the 1st four quarters (12 months) of the last five completed quarters from the date your claim is filed. For example, if your claim was filed on October 5, 2002 your base period would the 12 month period beginning July 1, 2001 and ending June 30, 2002. The total of your base period earnings must equal or exceed one and one-half times your highest quarter earnings. The average of your two highest quarters must equal or exceed $1157.01.
To be eligible to receive benefits you must meet certain requirements. You must be able to work, available for work, willing to accept suitable work, actively seeking full time work, and be out of work due to no fault of your own. If you voluntarily quit your job, the burden of proof is on you to show that you quit for a good work connected reason. If you are terminated or discharged, your employer must show that you were terminated for a work-connected cause as stated in the Alabama UC Law.
How much can you receive
Alabama unemployment benefits you receive per week range from a minimum of $45 to a maximum of $265. This is calculated using your base period earnings. On the day after you file your claim, a monetary determination form is mailed to you that states all of your base period wages by employer and the total and weekly amount to which you may be entitled. In most cases you will have up to 26 weeks of eligibility. This is dependent on how much you have earned in your base period. If you return to work or if you have deductible income for any week, then you may draw more or less than 26 weeks. The overall total amount that you can draw for the year is the maximum benefit amount shown on your monetary determination.
If you are determined to be monetarily ineligible, then no benefit year is established. This will allow you to file again when your base period changes. Be sure to ask for a specific date as to when the quarters will change so that you can file again as soon as possible if you are still unemployed. If you have worked for cash or received a 1099, this could have affected your unemployment benefits. If you need assistance on this, feel free to email TipHotline@labor.alabama.gov or call 855-234-2856.
If your monetary determination has missing or incorrect wages, then you need to immediately call 800-361-4524. A request for a re-determination may be needed, in order for them to locate missing or incorrect wages. If you have worked for cash or received a 1099, this could have affected your unemployment benefits. For further assistance, you can email TipHotline@labor.alabama.gov or you can call 855-234-2856.
When to report your earnings
When you file your weekly certification for benefits, you should report any wages you earn for any work performed during the week you are claiming. As a reminder, you report your gross earnings during the week in which they are earned, not when they are paid. This is a mistake that could result in an over payment of benefits.
When will you receive your benefits
You will receive your unemployment benefits weekly and very quickly, if you have followed all of the procedures provided to you, there are no issues to be resolved, and your claim has been cleared for payment. In some cases, delays may occur but normally if you certify before 5pm your payment is made on the next business day after you call in your weekly certification. If your payment seems unusually delayed, contact your Call Center Inquiry line. Please allow up to 48 hours for the payment to be processed by the bank handling your account or Debit Card. Payments will be made through either direct deposit or the AL Vantage Debit Card based on the option you selected.
Alabama provides 2 options for receiving unemployment benefit payments. The first is by Direct Deposit and the second is by Debit Card. To have your unemployment benefit payment automatically deposited into your personal checking or savings account, you must have your bank routing number and checking or savings account number available when you file your unemployment claim.
When eligible for payment, funds are deposited into your debit card, checking or savings account within 2 business days. However, your debit card will not be mailed until a payment is issued to you. This could delay receipt of your first debit card payment by an additional 7-10 days. Specific information on debit card procedures will be mailed to you along with your card. Additional information can be located on their website Alabama Labor Website. Debit card problems should be addressed to the debit card cardholder services line at 866-295-2955.
Filing Your Weekly Claim
To be eligible for payment, you must file certifications each week as instructed, even if the determination has not yet been made on your claim. You will need your social security number and the Personal Identification Number that you established when you filed your unemployment claim. If you have forgotten your PIN, you must either successfully complete security questions on the website, or call the Call Center Inquiry line for assistance.
Your PIN is your electronic signature. It is legally valid and enforceable and should not be shared with anyone.
There are two methods to file your weekly certification. You can use their File Weekly Alabama Unemployment Claim to file, or you can call the weekly certification number provided to you during your Initial Claims filing process. In either case be sure to follow all instructions completely.
If you choose to stop filing weekly claim certifications for any reason, your claim becomes inactive. If you make your weekly call and the system detects that your claim is inactive, you will receive a message informing you that you have a break in your claim series. Failure to follow the instructions provided, may result in a loss of benefits. If the system detects that you have failed to call for at least 2 weeks or more, you will be instructed to reopen your claim by calling the Claims Line at 866-234-5382. Your claim will be reopened effective the week that you call and complete the reopened claim.
If you return to work
If you worked at all during the week for which you are filing, have the amount of the gross pay you received or will receive ready to enter when you file your weekly claims certification. You must report any cash and/or gross earnings for this week during which you worked, even if you have not yet been paid for the week.
Your gross earnings for this week can be determined by multiplying the number of hours you worked by your hourly rate of pay.
Appealing a decision
If you disagree with an examiner’s determination, you may file an appeal to the Hearing and Appeals Division. This is your first level of administrative appeal. Appeal requests must be filed within 15 calendar days of the mailing date of the original decision or within 7 calendar days if the decision was handed to you in-person. If the last day to file falls on a weekend or a state holiday, the deadline to file an appeal will be the next business day after the weekend or holiday. Appeal requests must be made by writing to:
Alabama Department of Labor
Hearing and Appeals Division, Room 4677
649 Monroe Street
Montgomery, Alabama 36131
Fax: (334) 956-5891
Your request must be signed and include your full name (printed), the last four digits of your social security number, and the reason you do not agree with the decision made on your claim. Be certain that you mail or fax your request so that it is received at the Alabama Department of Labor by the 7th day if the decision was handed to you or the 15th day if mailed. Either party to an appeal may be represented by any competent person of their choosing including an attorney, although an attorney is not required.
It is important that you continue to file your weekly certifications by telephone or the Alabama Department of Labor website during the appeals process so that, if the decision is in your favor, you can be paid for eligible back weeks.