The first step you should take after losing your job due to the pandemic is to file for state unemployment benefits. This will give you cash either from the state or the federal government.
The coronavirus crisis is changing the global economy. Many companies are suffering great losses and the only way they see to make it through is to minimize their workforce. Although working from home policies are possible for some companies, many across all industries are not. For example, restaurants or super malls cannot open due to the pandemic. If you find yourself unemployed, these are some of the steps you can take for help.
Apply for Unemployment
The first step you should take after losing your job due to the pandemic is to file for state unemployment benefits. This will give you cash either from the state or the federal government. Even if you did not lose your job, but suffer an hour reduction, you can qualify. By definition, this benefit is available for anyone who lost their job through no fault of their own.
The federal government offers unemployed workers $600 a week for up to six months and 13 weeks of benefits beyond the number a state currently provides.
Because of the pandemic, many state resources are available to make the situation less difficult for Americans. Some of these resources include:
- COBRA: The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act is a program that allows workers to continue healthcare insurance coverage after losing their job by their former employer.
- Suspend your student loan: Student loans fall under the stimulus bill, and students can suspend their loans for six months. Take advantage of this benefit to reduce expenses.
- Credit cards: This should be your last option because more debt is the last thing you want. But, if it is the only option, many credit card companies are softening their policies by deferring autopayments, removing late payment fees, and suspending automobile repossessions.
- Housing, utilities, and food assistance: If you are struggling with paying bills and even buying food, there are many non-profit groups offering help. For example, 2-1-1 provides financial resources to make a home payment or pay utilities, and Feeding America or No Kid Hungry donate food for people in need.
A good solution is to find alternative income that does not necessarily mean finding another full-time job. Hone your skills and start looking for freelance jobs, they can be anything from content writing to jobs in tech. There are many platforms to find freelance jobs and remote work. Upwork is one of the platforms where millions of people and companies do work transactions every day. There is also Hubstaff and Flexjobs where you can find freelance projects or full-time remote work.
Tap into your Emergency Savings
If you have emergency savings, this is the time to use them. Redo your monthly budget to find ways to save money. That way, you will be able to stretch your savings until you find a new job. If you have enough money, you can take advantage of your free time by learning something new. There are many cheap or free online bootcamps to learn programming skills, a new language, or how to use new software.