New Year Brings Changes in Alabama’s Unemployment Benefit Program

Changes to Alabama’s unemployment compensation benefits are now in effect.

Starting January 1st unemployment benefits in Alabama were cut from a maximum of 26 weeks to a variable rate of between 14 and 20 weeks, based on the state’s unemployment rate.

If the state’s annually adjusted unemployment rate is 6.5% or below, filers will be eligible for 14 weeks. One week of benefits will be added for every 0.5% increase with a cap of 20 weeks if the state’s average unemployment rate equals or exceeds 9.5%.  Under the current rates, unemployment benefits in Alabama will be capped at 14 weeks. In November, the state’s unemployment rate was 2.7%

Filers can receive a five-week extension if they enroll in an Alabama Department of Labor approved training program. Those approved training programs include: any GED training program; any training provided through the Alabama Career Center System; an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree program – or any vocational trade or certificate program.

While the number of weeks for benefits is decreasing, the maximum amount for benefits is increasing by $10 from $265 to $275 a week.  The changes do not impact anyone who began receiving or applied for benefits prior to January 1st.


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