Congresswoman Terri Sewell

Representing the 7th District of Alabama
 

Rep. Terri Sewell and Sen. Doug Jones Urge Governor Kay Ivey to Extend Unemployment Benefits for Workers Impacted by COVID-19

Mar 19, 2020
Press Release

 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) and U.S. Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) today urged Alabama Governor Kay Ivey and her administration to extend unemployment benefits for Alabamians impacted by the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.

As a result of the economic and public health crisis caused by the virus, many workers have had their hours cut or have lost their jobs entirely. This comes on the heels of a new policy that the state of Alabama enacted on January 1, 2020 to cut unemployment benefits from a maximum of 26 weeks to between 14 and 20 weeks, depending on the state unemployment rate. Currently, Alabama workers who qualify for unemployment benefits are eligible to receive $275 a week through the program.

In a letter to Governor Ivey, the lawmakers wrote: “We urge you to work with the State Legislature to make available twenty-six weeks of unemployment benefits for all eligible individuals for the duration of this public health and economic crisis. This action would be an impactful step to maintaining economic stability during this challenging time.”

“Alabama’s economy relies on workers across a variety of sectors and industries who will be impacted by the spread of COVID-19. We are facing unprecedented economic upheaval, and families will increasingly rely on these funds to afford basic necessities, including food, housing, and medication. One of our top priorities must be to support workers and families facing difficult financial circumstances due to the pandemic,” the lawmakers continued.

Read the full letter below or click here:

 

March 19, 2020

 

Governor Kay Ivey

State Capitol

600 Dexter Avenue

Montgomery AL 36130

Dear Governor Ivey:

As our state and nation responds to the COVID-19 pandemic by encouraging “social distancing,” many workers in Alabama have been forced to stay home to attend to their health as well as their families’ wellbeing. We write to urge your administration to extend the duration of unemployment benefits for workers impacted by COVID-19 to twenty-six weeks in an effort to prioritize their financial and physical well-being.

We appreciate the actions your administration has taken thus far to streamline the processing and availability of unemployment benefits. The actions of our public officials have been instrumental in shaping the public’s understanding of the coronavirus’ impact, and continued leadership will ensure we effectively respond to this challenge.

Alabama’s economy relies on workers across a variety of sectors and industries who will be impacted by the spread of COVID-19. We are facing unprecedented economic upheaval, and families will increasingly rely on these funds to afford basic necessities, including food, housing, and medication. One of our top priorities must be to support workers and families facing difficult financial circumstances due to the pandemic.

For these reasons, we urge you to work with the State Legislature to make available twenty-six weeks of unemployment benefits for all eligible individuals for the duration of this public health and economic crisis. This action would be an impactful step to maintaining economic stability during this challenging time.

We thank you for your prompt attention to this request.

Sincerely,