Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) which became law on March 27, 2020. This third phase Congressional response to COVID-19 expands unemployment benefits provided by states. Highlights include an additional $600 weekly benefit and 13-week duration. The $600 is a flat benefit amount per the Act, but the federal government may consider allowing states to phase out that amount and offset with other income. There’s no official word that such action will be permitted. Until then, the $600 should be considered a fixed amount.

Many states, including Alabama, are expected to issue guidance on implementation of the CARES Act’s unemployment benefits provision upon receipt of funding from the federal government. Employers and employees should continue monitoring their state website(s) for updates. See ADOL website for recent press releases and information on Alabama’s claims filing process. Alabama encourages employers to file on their employees’ behalf. In return, Alabama will refrain from counting the filings against the employer’s experience rating – a factor in determining their unemployment tax rate.

Our Bulletin below addresses Alabama unemployment benefits, including integration of the CARES Act, in a FAQ format.

If you have questions or need help, please contact one of our benefit consultants.

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Check out our COVID-19 Resource Center for more resources and information.