Laid Off Workers – How to get Financial help. Are you unemployed, laid off, or a furloughed worker? You may be eligible for emergency government grants and help with bills. For instance, there are programs local programs that offer emergency financial assistance for basic living needs. You may be able to get partial or full-time financial aid and other types of assistance.
The first thing you want to do is file for unemployment benefits. Benefits will take a few weeks to kick in, so apply once you have been fired or your hours severely cut. Inform your landlord/mortgage company, utility, credit card, and car loan company to make them aware of the change in your financial situation. Often they are happy to work with you.
It isn’t easy when you don’t know when your next check is coming or how you will care for your family. However, financial help available is available until you get another job. Let’s find out where to look for help.
File for Unemployment Benefits Right Away
All employees pay federal and state unemployment taxes (FUTA tax pays and SUI State Unemployment Insurance) So, don’t feel like you are getting a handout. This money is deducted from your check periodically if you are laid off. This money will have you pay your rent, put food on the table, and pay utility bills. You can file if you are unemployed or your hours have been cut.
What if my claim is disputed?
Make sure to have affidavits, times, dates, and proof of your claims to confirm your situation or challenge your employer. The average person looks for work for 43 days before they find a job. So, even if you feel you will get work immediately, file for your benefits.
How to File for Unemployment Benefits
Once you file for unemployment benefits, they will determine if you are eligible, how much you receive, and the length of time you will receive these benefits. You must meet your State requirements based on your earnings when you worked before becoming unemployed. Benefits are determined based on 4 out of 5 quarters before you file. Have all the documentation necessary ready for submission.
- Be honest and accurate in all your statements, as they will be checked.
- You might receive benefits if you were fired for failing to do your job.
- The Employment Insurance Claims Office will interview you.
- It is mandatory to keep that appointment, or your claim will be denied.
Unemployment Check List – Things you Need to Do
- Make a new budget – It is time to shift emotionally and financially.
- Update your resume – Dust off the old resume and revamp it for your new job hunt. Use your strengths to impress.
- Network with friends, family, and past co-workers – Let people know you are looking for a new job. A great way to find out about a job opening is through word of mouth!
- Manage your savings – If you have savings, add them to your budget and use them for essential things like rent or mortgage.
- Use Caution using Credit Cards – Let your credit card holder know that you are out of work and ask for a lower payment. It is advisable to freeze all your credit cards except one for emergencies.
- Make Use of Food Pantries – No one likes to ask for charity. However, it is good to know there are food pantries and food banks near you. They help feed your family for a short while.
- Apply for Expedited SNAP – Expedited SNAP benefits are provided to families in emergencies. You may be eligible for the second month you are out of work. This is because they count your income for the previous month.
- Apply for COBRA – If you presently have insurance, you can purchase COBRA, so you have no lapse in medical benefits.
- Apply for Hospital Sliding Scale – If you can not afford COBRA, go to your local hospital to apply for their sliding fee scale. You can be covered up to 100% for medical treatment and prescriptions. Contact the hospital in your area to find out if they have a medical assistance program.
- Take Time for Yourself – It is helpful to look back objectively at your situation. A positive attitude will help you get through this difficult time. Pray, meditate, exercise, or talk to a good friend or clergy for inspiration.
Charities That Help Furloughed & Laid-Off Workers
Catholic Charities is a non-profit organization that works with community organizations, corporations, and the government to give back to the community. If you need help with groceries, most locations have pantries, and you can walk in to get a few bags of groceries for the family. Catholic Charities help with many issues, not just rent and utilities. They also,
- Pay bills
- Give free furniture
- Provide clothes
- Distribute groceries
- Provide counseling
The Salvation Army Can Help with Bills
The Salvation Army doesn’t just run thrift stores. They also have a great job training program for those seeking to refresh old job skills and acquire new ones. Make an appointment for skills assessment testing and speak to a counselor.
They will help steer you in the right direction, help with resumes, and if you want to go to school, they will help you. When you are ready, they have job opportunities for you to pursue.
Government Grants for Unemployed and Laid-Off Workers
The Department of Labor works with many organizations, such as the Job Link and Career Voyages, to provide many benefits to displaced, unemployed, and under-employed. Laid-off workers can find assistance in preparing or updating their resumes, filing for unemployment, and receiving the grant; you will need to go back to school.
As a laid-off worker, you have options that can help move you to the next step in your job or career. Websites like FastWeb are databases where you can find scholarships for the programs you are interested in.
You can find low-cost and free tuition programs for older adults. You may also qualify for FAFSA and other educational grants offered to low-income and displaced workers. Also, consider the resources below.
• Pell Grant
• LEAP Grants
• National SMART Grants
• FSEOG (Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant)
Career Voyages working with the US Department of Labor and Education to provide information on current job trends and skills required to be marketable in today’s workforce. There you can find apprenticeship programs and short term education that leads to certification in all fields of today’s employment environment.
Other Job Training Resources
- USA Jobs – usajobs.gov
- U.S. Department of Labor – 877-872-5627
- Goodwill Industries International – 800-741-0186
- Veterans Preference Programs – 866-4-USA-DOL
- Federal Career Development – 202-606-1800
- Funding Opportunities and Grants – grants.gov
Do I Qualify for Child Care Assistance?
The Human Services Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) provides financial assistance to low-income families needing affordable child care. You may be eligible if you are working, your earnings are below the national poverty level, and you are attending school full-time. Child care can easily be one of your highest bills other than rent, especially if you are a single parent or have more than one child.
How to Apply for Child Care Assistance
Laid off workers attending school may be eligible for help with childcare. Go to the Department of Social Services website to download an application, or go to the Department of Human Services to fill out an application in person.
A face-to-face meeting will allow you to ask questions and receive accurate information. Make sure you have the proper documentation to help speed up the process.
You will need to bring these things to your appointment,
- State Photo identification
- Current payroll stubs or W-2 forms
- Documentation from the government assistance program
- Social security cards for each family member
- Proof you are attending a school or training program.
Taking these documents with you will speed up the time it takes to process your application for assistance. The Department of Social Services will give you a list of approved childcare agencies and individuals. Vouchers are given to your child’s provider when approved.
The childcare facility you choose must be a,
- Licensed daycare
- School Program
- Licensed child care center run by the Department of Defense.
- Registered with the state; with no more than six children
Being laid off can be very stressful. Hopefully, our resources help you find the help you need until you get back to work. Being unemployed is difficult, but it can also be the best thing that happened to you.
It may have released you from a dead-end job you hated and set you on a new path to school or start your own business. Be assured, whatever happens, know you are the master of your fate!
Use all the tools you need to get through this difficult time. You will be back to work or finish school before you know it. You can do many more things to get help with bills, go back to school, and even help with home repairs. If you have any questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, leave a comment below, or visit our Facebook page.
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