Alabama residents who have exhausted both their regular unemployment benefits AND the benefit program created by the federal stimulus package may be eligible for up to 13 weeks of additional benefits after the state Labor Department announced on Monday that it would implement a federal program in July.
That “extended benefits” program kicks in when a state’s unemployment rate is higher than 5.9%; Alabama’s unemployment rate of 6.1% triggered thr 13-week long program the week of May 31st. That program is usually available during adverse economic conditions; Alabama last used it during the 2008 recession.
Alabamians can start claiming the benefits July 5th – as long as they have used up both their regular unemployment compensation benefits AND Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits, the agency.
While the program lasts 13 weeks, not all workers will qualify for all of those weeks. Under eligibility requirements workers must not be eligible for unemployment benefits in another state or Canada; have no disqualifications; have qualifying wages; and have at least one week in the benefit year that begins in an extended benefits eligibility period.
The full criteria for the program can be found here.
As with regular unemployment benefits, the extended benefits are only granted if a worker is no longer employed through no fault of their own and they must be able, and available, to work.
Alabamians will not have to apply for extended benefits. Instead, the Labor Department will notify eligible Alabamians through the mail and the Unemployment Insurance Claims Tracker.
While there IS NO application, according to the Alabama Department of Labor, all claimants should continue to file weekly certifications.