REALTORS® and Unemployment

REALTORS® and Unemployment

Last week, the Alabama Department of Labor (ADOL) opened unemployment claims related to the federal CARES Act.   REALTORS® and INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS ARE ELIGIBLE TO FILE under the CARES ACT.

If your business has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits, even as independent contractors, sole proprietors or employees.

For more information on unemployment benefits and other stimulus programs, check out our FAQs on the CARES Act here. To go directly to ADOL’s unemployment benefits page, click here. An illustrative grid of eligibility prepared by ADOL may be found here.

Here are a few things to keep in mind and FAQs:

  • Weekly Claims:  Unemployment benefits must be claimed weekly, which can be done online at ADOL’s website.
  • Independent Contractor - Is my broker my employer?
    • If you are an independent contractor, you are your employer. Your broker is not your employer for the purposes of filing an unemployment claim.
  • Program Updating/Expect Quirks: ADOL will continuously update its claims processes to incorporate all the programs under the CARES Act. The system is backlogged with a surge of applications and may experience delays.
  • File Anyway - Go ahead and file initial and weekly claims but know the old system may create some issues until ADOL completes the update.
  • Problem Reported - REALTORS®, as independent contractors, have reported receiving inaccurate, $0 “monetary determinations” after filing. But this letter is automatic under the old system where independent contractors were not eligible for unemployment. ADOL has stated that those eligible will receive their benefits once the system update is complete. If this or other issues occur, please call the number provided by ADOL and continue filing weekly claims.