Unemployment assistance available for those out of work due to COVID-19 outbreak


The amount of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state continue to grow and the amount of people being ordered not to come to work is too. If you have been out of work due to this pandemic, you may be eligible to apply for unemployment starting Monday, March 23.

Just last week, the state’s labor secretary announced that Alabama workers who are not able to work due to COVID-19 will be eligible to file for unemployment benefits. Normally, if someone loses their job due to an illness or an illness related situation, they would not qualify for unemployment benefits. But the Alabama Department of Labor Communications Director says the COVID-19 pandemic is temporarily changing that in Alabama.

“The rules are changing all the time as we receive more guidance as this pandemic becomes more involved,” said Tara Hutchison. “We are taking these claims with the understanding that this will be a short term, temporary layoff, and the employees would most likely go back.”

Hutchison says this is a fluid situation, and criteria is subject to change at any time.

So who can actually apply for this? If you’ve been quarantined by a medical professional or a government agency, laid off or sent home without pay for an extended period by your employer, diagnosed with COVID-19, or are caring for an immediate family member who is diagnosed with COVID-19, then you can apply.

Hutchison says the dollar amount people will receive is based on wages and the maximum amount is $275/week for up to three weeks. She also added they will require documentation proving that you’re out of work because of COVID-19 before they grant you unemployment.

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