How to apply for unemployment in alaska

How to apply for unemployment in alaska

Can I qualify for unemployment benefits in Alaska if I took time off work because I got COVID-19?

This does not disqualify you from receiving unemployment insurance benefits.

Do I have to do anything besides complete the application to receive benefits in Alaska?

Yes. After you complete the application, you will be given a date to file a certification to claim the weeks your hours were reduced or weeks you did not work and continue to do so until you return to full-time work. This is how you request a benefit payment every two weeks.

Can I contact the unemployment claim center in Alaska after the deadline?

Your requirements will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. If you are asked to contact the UI claim center by a set deadline, you must still do so. If you are required to complete a Reemployment and Services Assessment through a job center, they are currently working on ways to accommodate alternative options, such as telephone and Skype.

Will I have to provide work search contacts while filing for unemployment benefits in Alaska?

This will be determined once you file a claim. You may not have to provide work search contacts depending on your circumstances.

Is there other financial assistance available in Alaska?

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The Department of Public Assistance has several programs that may be able to assist you, including Food Stamps (to purchase food), Energy Assistance (assistance with heating and utility bills), and Temporary Assistance (cash benefits and work services). Visit them on-line at for more information or call your nearest Public Assistance office.

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You may be eligible to get food assistance from your local Food Bank. You can visit them on-line at

In addition, you may qualify for your children to receive free or reduced-price meals (lunch at all schools; breakfast at selected schools) from your local school district. Contact your child’s school or go on-line at for more information.

Am I considered to still be employed in Alaska if I’m on call or working part-time?

You can file a claim and your eligibility will be reviewed. Working on-call or part-time does not automatically disqualify you from receiving unemployment insurance benefits. You will need to report any hours worked and earnings during each week you file for benefits if you worked that week. It is very important to report hours and earnings if you work to prevent an overpayment of benefits.

Is there help available for people who have reduced income in Alaska?

Contact Consumer Credit Counseling of Alaska or call them at (800) 254-4100. They can assist with confidential and personal debt management plans to help pay existing debt and avoid future problems. In addition, they provide educational programs on such topics as budgeting, money management, and the wise use of credit.

Am I qualified for unemployment benefits in Alaska if I am advised to quarantine myself even though I am not sick?

This does not disqualify you from receiving unemployment insurance benefits.

How will I receive my payment from unemployment if I am eligible in Alaska?

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Alaska law requires UI benefits be paid by electronic funds transfer (Debit Card) or electronic payment to your personal checking or savings account (Direct Deposit.) You can set up direct deposit through myAlaska. If you do not see the direct deposit option please check back once a day until the option is available. Due to changes being made in the system it could take a couple days to show if you have never filed a UI claim before. You will need your 9 digit routing number and your account number. If you do not set up direct deposit you will be mailed a debit card within two weeks after you file a claim.

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Can I qualify for unemployment benefits if I had to take leave due to school closures in Alaska?

This does not disqualify you from receiving unemployment insurance benefits.

Can I refuse an offer of suitable work and still receive my unemployment benefits in Alaska?

Anytime someone refuses an offer of suitable work, the reason for the refusal is investigated. If it is determined that there was not good cause for the refusal of suitable work then a six week penalty and a three week reduction of benefits will be applied to your claim. You will also not be eligible for Extended Benefits (EB) should they become available. You will also be required to pay back any UI benefits you may have received incorrectly.

Are employees eligible for unemployment benefits in Alaska if they are still paid while the business is closed?

They may not be eligible for UI benefits if you are paying them. If they file they will need to report all wages paid (including stipends, bonuses, etc.) to them each week they file. If they are retroactively paid wages they will need to report this for any weeks they were paid. This could result in an overpayment if they did not report the earnings at the time they filed for UI payment for the week(s) in question. It is important they know in advance whether they will be receiving wages for weeks they are not working.

Is there any help available in Alaska for those that can’t afford childcare while job searching?

Contact your local Child Care Assistance Program. The Child Care Assistance Program assists low and moderate income parents who are working, training, or job seeking, with the cost of childcare. Visit them on-line at

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Will I be required to register for work if I am no longer working due to COVID-19 in Alaska?

No, you will not be required to register or search for work. Legislation has been passed to waive this requirement specifically due to COVID-19. If you are instructed to register for work or actively search for work when you file, or if you receive similar instructions in the mail, it is because our system is working as designed under normal circumstances and will continue to do so until the system is updated.

What is a request to isolate or quarantine in Alaska?

Instruction from an employer, medical professional or government official to stay home.


Rick Randall

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