Back to Basics: ADOL to restore job search requirement for unemployment claimants in 2021


HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Alabama Department of Labor announced it will be resuming its work search requirement for unemployment benefits at the beginning of next year.

Some people wonder how they’re supposed to prove they’re actively searching for a job in the middle of a pandemic. ADOL said there are a number of options.

“Most places you can also apply online so I would look to apply online,” said ADOL Spokeswoman Tara Hutchinson, “You can also visit your local career center. We’re certainly using proper safety protocols there for assistance.”

Hutchinson said the department wanted to let people know more than a month in advance that the requirement would resume to give unemployment recipients time to figure out which job search options work best for them.

“In March, Alabama, along with most of the other states we decided to waive that work search requirement for pandemic related claims because obviously at that time, we were experiencing large shutdowns,” Hutchinson said. “To be quite honest, there wasn’t any way that people could physically and safely search for work so we went ahead and waived that requirement for pandemic-related claims.”

ADOL decided to lift that waiver citing most businesses are now open and hiring.

Hutchinson said the requirements aren’t any different than what has always been asked of unemployment claimants.

“The work search requirement has always been there. It’s always been a condition of receiving unemployment compensation that you must be able and available for work and that you must also be searching for work while you’re receiving those benefits,” said Hutchinson.

As for how people will submit proof of a job search, Hutchinson said the details are not set in stone.

“We’re working through all those logistical questions and we’ll get that that guidance out prior to the first of the year.”

Come 2021 Hutchinson said one thing is for certain. Failure to submit proof of your job search could be the difference between receiving your weekly unemployment benefit and having your claim denied.

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