Friday, December 10, 2010

How to File For Alabama Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment benefits are payments to people who have lost their jobs from the government as compensation for lost salaries. People lose jobs every day through no fault of their own, and unemployment insurance helps them keep their heads above water while looking for new work. Every state differs in how its government handles these benefits. In Alabama, unemployment claims are taken care of through the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations. This how-to will help you navigate the system set up for filing a claim for unemployment benefits in the "Yellowhammer State."

Perform a checklist to make sure you are eligible to receive Alabama unemployment benefits. You must:
- Have been employed by a covered employer (an employer who is subject to the Alabama Unemployment Compensation Law) who paid you wages in two of your "base period" quarters. The "base period" is defined as the first four of the last five calendar quarters.)
- Have been laid off from your job for purely monetary reasons as claimed by your former employer, and not for misconduct or for some other issue that is your fault.
- Have made at least $1,068.01 total in your two highest earning quarters.
- Register with Employment Services.
- Be willing, ready and able to work.
- Be making an effort to look for employment.

Gather the information required in order to file an unemployment claim. You will need your social security number; your driver's license or Alabama identification card number; names, contact info and dates of employment for your last two employers; and bank information so unemployment money can be direct deposited in your bank account. If necessary, you will also need your Alien Registration Card number.

Decide on through which medium you want to file the claim. You can do so online (follow the link below in "Resources") or you can use the telephone by calling 1-866-234-5382, Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to p.m. The TTY/TDD number is 1-800-499-2035. The same time guidelines apply. If filing for unemployment compensation online, your computer will need to have JavaScript and cookies enabled.

Register with Alabama State Employment Services (automatic registration occurs when opening an initial claim for benefits) and maintain your association with the office for every week you draw unemployment compensation. They may ask you to do random eligibility interviews or other tests. Access the Alabama JobLink website through the link below to keep up with your application. A link has also been provided to a page where you can find the nearest Alabama Career Center, in case you'd rather meet in person.

Search for other work, and keep track of your efforts. You must be able to provide evidence of your attempts to get hired or you could lose your benefits.

File your weekly claim certifications online (link provided in "Resources") or by calling a telephone number provided to you when you file your claim. Weekly certification is a check-up process you must complete in order to ensure eligibility and to get paid. Report any income you have made that week by calling 1-800-361-4524. This income could be deducted from your weekly unemployment payment.

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