Unemployment benefits available for Alabamians impacted by coronavirus

On Monday, the Alabama Department of Labor announced it is changing unemployment compensation rules so people who are sick, or caring for someone who is, can file a claim.

Posted: Mar 18, 2020 4:36 AM
Updated: Mar 18, 2020 8:18 AM

If people are unable to work because of the coronavirus, they could be eligible for unemployment benefits.

On Monday, the Alabama Department of Labor announced it is changing unemployment compensation rules so people who are sick, or caring for someone who is, can file a claim.

The Department of Labor outlines that if people are getting paid to work from home or receiving sick or vacation leave, they are not eligible for unemployment benefits.

But, First Baptist in Huntsville is already planning to help the people who do qualify.

"I think it's great that the government is providing this cushion for the people who have lost their jobs," said Elaine Dickson with Christian Women's Job Corps.

Dickson helps women find jobs and says she was happy to hear about unemployment benefits for people impacted by coronavirus.

"I think some of them may have been affected by this," said Dickson.

Dickson says she's worried the positions she usually helps fill may get cut if the economy slows down because of coronavirus.

"It tends to be the jobs that are kind of the entry-level jobs that go first when this happens," said Dickson.

Others are in industries that are already being impacted by the virus.

"Some of our ladies have administrative type positions. Some of them are working in the restaurant business," said Dickson.

The Alabama Department of Labor states you can file for unemployment benefits if you are laid off or sent home without pay because of coronavirus concerns, if you are quarantined by a doctor, if you are diagnosed with coronavirus, or if you're caring for a family member who has the virus.

Dickson says she hopes people take advantage of the benefits offered.

"Maintain a positive attitude throughout all of this and to just keep their options open," said Dickson.

People can begin filing a claim on March 23, 2020. Click here to file a claim.

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