During the COVID-19 pandemic, the State of Alabama forced the temporary closures of many businesses deemed non-essential. This led to an overwhelming influx of would-be workers to seek unemployment benefits, and some soon discovered that the amount they received on unemployment either matched or was greater than their regular pay.

Because of this, some people were quite disgruntled when work resumed at their place of employment.  Some even decided that they would extend their unemployment as long as possible by declining when given the option to return.  When option was removed and some were called back to work, they simply refused to return.

Legally, this is resignation, and a person who resigns is not eligible for unemployment benefits.

Unfortunately, those who are concerned about the safety of returning to work have no protection from the loss of benefits, as it is said that a general fear is not a valid reason to stay home, despite the fact that  COVID-19 numbers continue to rise in the state and the death toll in Alabama is greater than 850.

However, those who have the disease or are caring for someone who has it are said to not lose their unemployment benefits. Neither will those who care for a child whose school is closed nor those whose primary breadwinner died from COVID-19. Source.

Everyone else is expected to return to work while taking necessary precautionary measures of practicing social distancing and good hygiene. Doing so significantly decreases the chances of contracting the disease while maintaining an active economy so the funds will be there for those who truly need it.

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