File for Unemployment Benefits
All of the information covered in previous sections is intended to educate you on the Alabama Unemployment Insurance Compensation Program. The following information will help you understand how to file an initial claim for unemployment insurance benefits in Alabama. The easiest way to file for unemployment is through the Alabama Department of Labor’s website: https://labor.alabama.gov/.
Unemployment Application and Initial Claim
File Your Unemployment Application and Initial Claim Process
To file a claim online:
- Go to https://labor.alabama.gov/uc/Claims/default.aspx
- Read the technology requirements and privacy assurance, then click “Proceed”.
- Enter your personal information, including name, birthdate, Social Security Number, etc.
- Answer a series of questions, continuing until the last page notifies you that your application is complete.
- If you exit the application before reaching the completion notification page, your claim will not be submitted. You must follow through to the end of the process for your claim to be valid. If the internet application is left idle for 20 minutes, it will terminate, your information will be erased, and you will have to start your application again from the beginning.
*Note: The unemployment application site never uses popup windows and never asks for credit card information or fees. If you are redirected or a popup window opens asking for information during your application, stop the filing the application.
If needed, you can use a telephones and computers to file your claim at any Alabama Career Center or One Stop Career Center.
Documents and Information Needed During Filing
Before applying, be sure to have the following documents and information ready.
- Social Security Number
- Driver’s License or Alabama State ID
- Work history for the past 18 months, including all employers, , contact information, telephone numbers, and start and end dates.
- Your telephone number
- Physical and mailing address
- Proof of income: W2, pay stubs, or letter from your employer(s)
- If you were discharged from the military in the last 18 months, you will need copy #4 of DD form 214.
- If you were hired through a union, provide the name and local number of your union.
- If you’re not a U.S. citizen, you will need your Alien Registration Number and expiration dates.
- If you’re applying for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), you must submit your TAA petition number and/or certification letter.
- Banking information for your checking or savings if you want to receive benefits through direct deposit.
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Claim Weekly Benefits
To receive continued benefits, you must file a weekly unemployment insurance claim certification. You must show active eligibility for benefits each week you want to receive them. You must provide information and meet all work search requirements each week you collect unemployment insurance benefits.
Access information about your benefits, payments, and account information using the Weekly Certification System. You can do this online at https://labor.alabama.gov/uc/ICCS/
How to Claim Weekly Benefits
Weekly claim certification must be filed for all claim weeks you intend to receive benefits for. Claim weeks begin as soon as you file your unemployment application, before you are even approved. If you are denied benefits, then later approved after filing an appeal, you may be able to receive a lump sum payment containing all weekly benefit payments that were withheld between the time you applied and your request was approved.
- You must file claim certifications by 5 pm Friday every week to continue receiving unemployment insurance payments.
- The online site does not accept claims between 5:15 pm and 11 pm Monday through Thursday or from 5 pm Friday until 12:01 am Sunday.
- You will need to create a username and PIN
- Provide your social security number
If you stop filing weekly claims your unemployment benefits claim becomes inactive and you will stop receiving payments until you reactivate your benefits claim year.
Claim Denials or Discrepancies
When you file your application for unemployment insurance, your claim is sent to a Claims Examiner, who examines the information provided by both you and your employer. The Claims Examiner determines whether or not you are legally eligible to receive unemployment compensation and issues a letter stating the decision. You will receive the determination for unemployment insurance eligibility through postal mail.
You could be denied benefits if you fail to meet eligibility requirements, or if there is a discrepancy between information given by you and your employer. If the information provided is incomplete or fraud of any kind is suspected, you may have cause for an appeal. Intentionally providing misleading information or withholding information could affect your unemployment insurance eligibility, now and into the future. It is considered an act of fraud and can carry serious consequences such as fines and possible jail time.
Appeals Process for Denied Claims
In Alabama, you can appeal a denied claim for unemployment insurance benefits by submitting a written appeal within 15 calendar days of the mailing date on the original letter of determination, or within 7 days of receipt if the letter is hand delivered to you. You must include your full name, the last four digits of your Social Security Number, the reason you are appealing, and your signature.
After the department processes your request, they will mail you a notice of the time and date set for your hearing. Hearings are held over the telephone unless you make a request for special accommodations. You do not need an attorney, but you have the right to be represented by an interested party. You must continue to file weekly claim certifications throughout the appeals process to maintain eligibility should the decision be found in your favor. Maintaining eligibility enables you to immediately begin receiving benefits without going through the entire process from the beginning.
You have the right to have any witnesses with first-hand knowledge of facts relevant to the case present during the hearing. You also have the right to request subpoenas for witnesses relevant to your claim, and any documents necessary to prove your case.
You will receive written notice of the decision from the Administrative Hearing Officer by mail within 10 business days after the hearing. If you disagree with the Administrative Hearing Officer’s decision, you have the option to file a secondary appeal with the Board of Appeals of the Administrative Hearing. You have 15 calendar days of the mailing date listed on the decision to file for a review of the findings. Decisions at this level are final and are not open for any other appeals or reviews.
Office of Appeals Contact Information
Mail or fax your appeal to:
Alabama Department of Labor
Hearings and Appeals Division
649 Monroe Street, Room 4677
Montgomery, Alabama 36131
Fax: (334) 956-5891