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Understanding Unemployment Benefits – FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Alabama Unemployment Benefits


Am I eligible for unemployment benefits?
To be eligible for unemployment benefits, you must have wages in at least two-quarters of your base period. The base period is the first four quarters of the last five completed quarters from the date your claim is filed. An example given by the Alabama Department of Labor is if your claim was filed effective October 5, 2019, your base period would the 12 months beginning July 1, 2018, and ending June 30, 2019.

Additionally, you must be ready, able, and willing to work.


How much in unemployment benefits can I receive?
As of January 1st, 2020, benefits per week range from a minimum of $45 to a maximum of $275.This amount is calculated using your pay during the qualifying period.


Can I receive unemployment benefits if I quit my job?
If you voluntarily quit your job, the burden of proof is on you to show that you quit for a good work-connected reason. (an example would be workplace harassment)


How soon can I file for unemployment benefits after I become unemployed?


Can I receive unemployment benefits if my hours have been reduced by my employer, or I have been furloughed?
Yes, it is possible to receive unemployment benefits if your hours have been reduced or you have been furloughed. As long as you did not request the reduction in hours, if your gross weekly earnings are less than your weekly benefit amount, you would receive a reduced payment for that week.


How do I file an unemployment claim?
The easiest way to file is online at If you do not have access to the internet you can also file your claim from any touch-tone telephone by calling the Initial Claims Line (toll free) at 1-866- 234-5382.


What information will I need to file an unemployment claim?
According to the Alabama Department of Labor, 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, you 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 need the member 4 copy of your DD214. If you are not a citizen of the United States, you must provide a work authorization number.


Can I receive benefits if I am in the hospital, or cannot work for any reason, for a week or longer?
Typically, not for that certifying week or weeks.


How long can I get unemployment compensation?
Typically, you will qualify for a set number of full benefit weeks ranging from 14-20 weeks.


What is the Waiting Week and will I receive payment for it?
The Waiting Week is an unpaid period for all Unemployment Compensation recipients. Even though benefits cannot be paid for the waiting week, for it to count as the waiting week, it must meet the requirements to be payable and your weekly certification must be filed for that period.



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