Broke jobless businessman holding a cardboard sign

As of January 1st, Alabama’s unemployment compensation was cut from 26 weeks to a varying rate between 20 and 14 weeks depending on the state’s unemployment rate. If the state’s annually adjusted unemployment rate is at 6.5 percent or below, filers will be eligible for 14 weeks of compensation. One week of compensation will be added for every 0.5 percent increase with a cap of 20 weeks if the state’s average unemployment rate equals or exceeds 9.5 percent.

Under Alabama’s current unemployment rates, compensation will be capped at 14 weeks. In November, the state had an unemployment rate of 2.7 percent.

Filers can receive an additional five-week extension if they enroll in an Alabama Department of Labor approved training program. The approved training programs include: any GED training program; any training provided through the Alabama Career Center System; an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree program; or any vocational trade or certificate program.

While the number of weeks for benefits is decreasing, the maximum amount for benefits is increasing by $10 from $265 to $275 a week.

The changes do not impact anyone who began receiving or applied for benefits prior to Jan. 1st.