By Joshua Huff, sports editor
The Alabama Department of Labor announced on Monday that the state will now process all unemployment claims for those workers whose jobs were lost as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Individuals who typically would not be eligible for unemployment benefits can now file under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance thanks to language in the $2 trillion stimulus package passed by the federal government, Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said. That includes: the self employed, those seeking part-time employment, church employees, gig economy workers, nonprofit and governmental workers, workers who have exhausted regular unemployment compensation benefits, individuals lacking sufficient work history and those who otherwise do not qualify for regular unemployment compensation or extended benefits under state or Federal law or PEUC.
The state began processing those claims on Monday.
The stimulus package also adds an extra 13 weeks of unemployement benefits beyond the 14 weeks allowed by Alabama, which begins on April 20. This simply means that individuals can collect unemployment benefits for a longer period of time than under normal circumstances.
Claims can be filed through ADOL’s website at www.labor.alabama.gov or by calling 1-866-234-5382. Direct deposit is the fastest method to receive benefits. Choosing the debit card method will add an additional 5-7 days as the card must be mailed.
It should be noted that unemployment benefits are not available to employees who quit without good work-related cause, refuse to return to work or refuse to receive full-time pay. Refusing to return to work could result in a disqualification for benefit eligibility.