Unemployment benefits for some Alabamians who have been out of work a long time are changing.
Alabamians have been able to qualify for 63 weeks of benefits, but that is being reduced by nine weeks to 54 weeks. Alabama Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees said the state is no longer eligible for the extra nine weeks of federally funded benefits because the state's unemployment rate fell below 7 percent in November, December and January.
The unemployed who are currently between 54 weeks and 63 weeks can collect their remaining benefits as long as they meet eligibility requirements. But people with less than 54 weeks will no longer be able to qualify for the extra nine weeks.