Unemployment and Business Resources Under the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Posted on: 14 April 2020
  • By: Jake Cornelius

While the world continues to react to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are finding ourselves suddenly out of work and facing closings. If you are here now, and you're unsure of what comes next, you can use this blog post as a starting point.

Below you will find a list of resources--some local to North Alabama, others state-wide--covering a range of employment topics. The information contained behind each link is subject to change as this situation progresses. This post will be updated accordingly.



TO FILE AN UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIM ONLINE, contact the Alabama Department of Labor by going to their website at labor.alabama.gov. Follow the links for claimants to file or continue a claim. The website will walk you through all of your options and allow you to file your claim on the site. You will need your Social Security number and your work history for the past 18 months, and you may be asked for additional information in specific cases.

TO FILE AN UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIM BY PHONE, you can contact the Alabama Department of Labor at 1-866-234-5382. Please note that the phone line is experiencing a much higher than average call load at this time, so there may be a wait. You will need your Social Security number and your work history for the past 18 months, and you may be asked for additional information in specific cases.

Alabama Joblink https://joblink.alabama.gov/ - All phyiscal Alabama Career Center locations are currently closed, but their job search website continues to operate and can point you toward essential jobs

ALTogether Alabama https://altogetheralabama.org/ - Contains resources for individuals as well as businesses and non-profits

COVID-19 Dislocated Workers of North Alabama https://www.facebook.com/groups/COVID19NAW/ - Facebook group for matching skilled and experienced workers with companies looking to hire. Put together by North Alabama Works (northalabamaworks.com

U.S. Department of Labor https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/unemployment-insurance



Alabama Small Business Development Center http://asbdc.org/ - Includes information on Economic Injury Disaster Loan, the CARES Act, and other COVID-19 related business resources

ALTogether Alabama https://altogetheralabama.org/ - Contains resources for businesses and non-profits as well as individuals

Atlas Alabama https://atlasalabama.gov/ - Lists resources at the federal, state, and local levels

Small Business Administration - COVID-19 Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources

North Alabama Works http://northalabamaworks.com/covid-19/ - Contains webinars and resources for businesses local to North Alabama. For statewide information, see https://alabamaworks.com/CORONAVIRUS/



Alabama COVID-10 Info Hub https://covid19.alabama.gov/

Coronavirus and Unemployment Benefits Insurance FAQs https://labor.alabama.gov/COVID/Coronavirus%20and%20Unemployment%20Insurance%20Benefits%20UPDATED%20FAQ.pdf - Contains frequently asked questions sections for both employees and businesses



There are 3 eligibility requirements:

1. You must have earned at least a minimum amount in wages prior to unemployment.

  • If you have been working a regular, full-time job with a legitimate employer for at least a year and a half prior to filing for unemployment, you will be eligible and you can go to number 2.
  • If your employment history has not been that steady you will need to review the following:
    1. Your eligibility will be based on your employment during a “Base Period”
    2. To understand your base period, do the following:
      1. Take the date you file and determine the previous 5 complete quarters. 
      2. Then, take the first 4 of those 5 quarters to determine the year. 
      3. That year is your base period.
      4. For Example, if you apply for unemployment on During April or May 2020, the last complete quarter ended on March 31, 2020.
      5. The previous 5 complete quarters would have been:
        1. January 1, 2019 to March 31, 2019
        2. April 1, 2019 to June 30, 2019
        3. July 1, 2019 to September 30, 2019
        4. October 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019
        5. January 1, 2020 to March 31, 2020
      6. Take the first 4 of these 5
    3. Thus, your Base Period would be January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019
  • Now, in this base period you must have:
    1. Worked for 2 quarters
    2. Made over 1.5 times what you earned in your highest earning quarter
      1. For example, if you made $2,000.00 in the 3rd quarter your entire base period pay must be at least $3,000.00
    3. Your average pay for your 2 highest earning quarters must be at least $1,157.01

2. You must be unemployed through no fault of your own.

  • This will include layoffs, downsizing, and Reduction in Force (RIF) initiatives
  • If you have been fired for lack of skills or simply did not fit as thought, you could be eligible.
  • If you were fired for serious misconduct you will most likely not be eligible.
  • If you were fired for a less serious offense, you might be considered eligible.
  • If you simply quit, you will not be eligible.
  • If you quit for a compelling reason, you might be eligible.
  • Please note that all submissions are reviewed. If you were fired or quit you can still attempt to make a case in your application.

3. You must be available to work. If you are offered employment you will need to accept the position.