Congresswoman Terri Sewell

Representing the 7th District of Alabama
 

Unemployment Resources

Quick Link: UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION: Frequently Asked Questions
 

The CARES Act expanded eligibility for unemployment to temporarily include the self-employed, independent contractors, gig economy employees and those meant to start a new job or contract that were unable to due to COVID-19.

Qualified individuals receive state benefits that are calculated as a percentage of your previous wages. Under the CARES Act, individuals are also temporarily eligible for Federal Pandemic Employment Compensation of $600 per week, in addition to the Alabama state benefit.

Under Alabama law, eligible individuals may receive at least 14 weeks of unemployment benefits. Individuals may also be eligible for an additional 13 weeks of benefits as authorized by the federal government under the CARES Act.

Alabama residents can apply for unemployment benefits through the Alabama Department of Labor or by calling the Alabama Department of Labor Claims Line at 1-866-234-5382.

CARES Act Unemployment Provisions: 

  • Temporary Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation of $600/week will be available to any worker eligible for state or federal unemployment compensation through July 31, 2020. This payment would be in addition to regular state or federal unemployment benefits. This would not impact eligibility for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
  • Up to 13 weeks of emergency unemployment benefits for eligible workers who have already exhausted their regular unemployment benefits.
  • Expanded eligibility for unemployment to include the self-employed, independent contractors, gig economy employees and those meant to start a new job or contract that were unable to due to COVID-19.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the unemployment provisions in the CARES Act:

1. Q: How do I file for unemployment benefits under the CARES Act?

A. If you have access to the internet, you can file a claim online at labor.alabama.gov or by calling the Alabama Department of Labor Claims Line at 1-866-234-5382.

2. Q: Are workers impacted by COVID-19 eligible for unemployment benefits?

A. Any individual who is unemployed through no fault of their own is eligible for unemployment benefits. This includes workers who are impacted by COVID-19, including:

  •  An employee whose workplace has temporarily ceased operations due to COVID-19.
  • An employee who is under mandatory quarantine due to COVID-19.
  • An employee who is ill due to COVID-19.
  • An employee who is serving as a caretaker to a family member who is ill due to COVID-19.

3. Q: Are workers with reduced hours eligible for unemployment benefits?

A. In some instances, yes. You must file a claim with the Alabama Department of Labor to determine eligibility.

4. Q: Are self-employed individuals and contractors eligible for unemployment benefits?

A. Yes, under the CARES Act, self-employed workers are temporarily eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.

5. Q: How long am I eligible to receive unemployment benefits?

A. Under Alabama law, eligible individuals may receive at least 14 weeks of unemployment benefits. Individuals may also be eligible for an additional 13 weeks of benefits as authorized by the federal government under the CARES Act. 

6. Q: Will unemployment benefits fully replace my lost wages?

A. In some instances, yes. Qualified individuals receive state benefits that are calculated as a percentage of your previous wages. Under the CARES Act, individuals are also temporarily eligible for Federal Pandemic Employment Compensation of $600 per week, in addition to their state benefit.

 
Please know that we are in this together. As this health crisis persists and its economic ramifications develop, I will continue fighting on your behalf to ensure that the 7th Congressional District has the resources it needs.