This article was last updated on January 21
The Alabama Department of Labor (ADOL) manages the state’s unemployment administration systems which covers standard and enhanced unemployment payments.
Alabama Now Paying 2021 Unemployment Program Extensions (PUA, PEUC and FPUC) Under COVID Relief Bill
The $900 billion COVID-19 relief package was passed into law on Dec. 27, 2020, which among several other pandemic relief measures extends and provides additional federal funding for enhanced unemployment benefits. This includes the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and a reinstatement, but halving of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) Program which provides a $300 supplemental weekly unemployment payment.
These programs have been funded and extended for 11 weeks (on top of any state funded extensions), covering the weeks of December 27th, 2020 to April 5th, 2021 (no new claims after March 14th, 2021). To receive the extra $300 FPUC weekly benefits, you must be receiving regular UI, PEUC, EB, or PUA.
Update January 6th, 2021: ADOL announced it has began processing payments for the CARES Act extensions provided for in the recently enacted H.R. 133, including the additional $300 weekly Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) payment. Claimants who are eligible for these payments will need to take no action other than continuing to file their weekly certifications. ADOL began processing these changes on Tuesday, January 5, and claimants should expect to see payments as soon as this week, depending on their bank’s policies. It was one of the first states to start paying all claimants benefits under the 2021 extended coverage period.
“ADOL worked quickly to implement these new legislative changes, in order to get this aid to struggling Alabamians as fast as possible,” said Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington. “Guidance was received from USDOL on Friday, January 1, and funding was received by Monday, January 4, so in all, ADOL was able to get funds out within five days.”
Final guidelines on these programs and final eligibility including additional document verification procedures to combat Fraud have been issued by the Department of Labor and are being rolled out by ADOL in their systems and programs. The following are updates that have been made per recent news.
UI claimants with existing or expired claim balances should be aware of the following general guidelines:
- PUA and PEUC, FPUC will be automatically added to the claimants’ benefits if they are eligible for the weeks outlined in the new legislation.
- Claimants who will have additional weeks in UI and PUA or PEUC due to state provisions (where applicable) should watch their state agency UI portal or website for updates that will allow additional weeks to be filed (see potential scenarios where you need to take action to get benefits under the new extension)
- Claimants with weeks remaining in UI should continue to file weekly claims if their state UI systems have been updated for the extended coverage period.
- Claimants will receive retroactive payments for all weeks they are eligible.
- Claimants currently receiving benefits through the Extended Benefits program must finish all weeks of EB before receiving additional weeks of PEUC.
I will post additional details as they are released in coming days. So stay tuned for updates.
Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Program – Now Complete
Alabama has completed paying out the $300 weekly payment under the LWA program, which provides supplemental payments to eligible unemployment benefits claimants who have been unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. They must all be getting over $100 from existing unemployment programs to qualify for this payment.
The ADOL has said they have made all 6 weeks of approved payments by the end of September, with some retroactive payments pending due to various claim issues. All payments will be retroactive to August 1st for the 6 weeks (or $1800) of approved funding (see latest payout date table).
COVID 19 Enhanced Benefits – Extended Under COVID relief Bill (signed December 29th, 2020)
Under the CARES act, there are three types of federal unemployment assistance now available:
• Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA): expands eligibility for individuals who are typically ineligible for
Unemployment benefits, for example independent contractors, and self-employed and “gig” workers.
• Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC): provides an additional $600 per week, on top of regular benefits, to all recipients of Unemployment Insurance; retroactive to the week ending April 4, 2020. [Now Expired]
• Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC): provides an additional 13 weeks of Unemployment benefits to all recipients.
High unemployment amid COVID-19 has also triggered 13 weeks of extended benefits the state is permitted by federal law to offer to those who have exhausted all other state and federal unemployment aid without returning to work permanently
Useful Resources for Claimants
File A Claim if you are unemployed or partially employed and need to file an Alabama Initial Claim, get started here. It’s easy, fast and secure.
Contacts For Claimants – Contact us if you have questions about your claim
Claims & Benefits FAQ – Questions and answers to help you better understand the claim process and become familiar with the terminology.