Alabama Unemployment Changes – COVID-19

By: Celia Collins

Chair of the Employment & Labor Department


The Alabama Department of Labor announced Monday that it has temporarily eased qualifying criteria to allow individuals off work due to COVID issues to immediately receive unemployment benefits.  Qualifying reasons include furlough, quarantine by medical professional or government agency (not applicable to self-quarantine), sent home without pay due to employer COVID concerns, diagnosed with COVID or caring for a family member diagnosed with COVID.

The requirement that the individual be ready, willing and able to work and actively seeking employment is waived.  There is no waiting period.  Claims can be filed beginning March 23, 2020.

Employees receiving paid leave, sick pay or vacation pay during a COVID related absence are not eligible for unemployment benefits.

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