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What To Do When Your Unemployment Benefits Run Out

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In our current times of economic uncertainty and financial distress, unemployment has skyrocketed. But what happens if your unemployment benefits run out, or you’re about to lose them, and you are still in between jobs? Don’t panic. There are steps you can take to access resources to assist you. Unemployment benefits are supposed to be a temporary measure to provide financial assistance when caught between jobs. Depending on what state you reside in, unemployment benefits typically last around 26 weeks.

As of right now, the government has extended unemployment benefits available for workers who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Eligible workers can receive extra weeks of unemployment compensation along with supplemental payments. One example is New York, where unemployed workers are qualified for up to 52 or 59 weeks of Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits, depending on the time they filed their claim, their eligibility for benefits, and the state unemployment rate. Unfortunately, there are still limits in place to how many weeks you can claim. This means that your benefits might still run out before landing a new job. Below we will discuss some steps you can take if you are between jobs and your benefits run out.

Related: Steps to document your work injury

Check For Extended Benefits

The first thing you should do is check with your residential state unemployment office to ensure that you are getting all of the benefits you qualify for. When a recession is going on (like the one America is heading towards), the federal government may offer funds allowing the states to expand their unemployment programs.

CARES Act Extended Benefits

During the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act gives states the ability to extend unemployment by 13 weeks for workers who have already exhausted their standard state unemployment benefits.

Federal Extended Benefits

Due to the current high unemployment levels, an extra 13-20 weeks of federal Extended Benefits (EB) are available in most U.S. states. These extended benefits will automatically be paid in most cases, and you won’t have to refile to continue claiming benefits. However, it would help if you always asked your state department for details on your eligibility and the process’s various steps. You can visit the Department of Labor’s Economy Recovery portal to find information on filing for unemployment in your state, plus resources for food, housing, finances, health care, and others.

Looking for legal counsel for your worker’s compensation case? Call Invictus Law today!

Create An Action Plan

If you’re nearly about to lose your unemployment benefits and still haven’t found a job, you have to create an action plan to fall back on. You should start trimming expenses and finding resources while you still qualify for unemployment. Start making a plan right now, and you’ll be much less stressed later.

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Related: How permanent partial disability works for workers’ comp

Tighten Your Budget Before Unemployment Runs Out

When you lose your job, it’s essential to create a new, barebones budget-cutting out all non-essential spending as soon as possible. You should cancel any unnecessary services like a gym membership or cable, scale back on your grocery bill, and lower your entertainment expenses, such as getting drinks at the bar. You’ll have to make your emergency fund, savings, and other assets last as long as you can so that if your benefits end before you land another job, you’ll be able to fall back on your savings comfortably.

Talk To Your Creditors

You need to contact your creditors if you are not able to make your monthly payments. If you are unemployed, your student loan can be put on deferral, and you should let your creditors know about it as soon as you lose your job. Even though your creditors may be able to report you to collections, if you fail to pay, there may be additional help or assistance available during a period of unemployment if you talk to them. You may be able to save your credit while you handle unemployment if you are proactive. 

Find Assistance Looking For A Job

Becoming discouraged is easy in our current job market. One way to expedite your search time is to let yourself widen your horizons. Think about looking in different fields or in other cities. If you have a college degree, then check with your career services office. Most schools offer job search assistance and career counseling to their alumni.

If you keep getting stuck at the interview stage without getting any offers, you should improve your interviewing techniques. You can get help with this through your local unemployment offices. They can still give you service with looking for a job even if you don’t qualify for weekly benefits. It is essential to keep being proactive until you find a job.

Take On Part-Time, Temporary, Or Gig Work

You should also think about picking up part-time or temporary work to make ends meet while you keep looking for a full-time job. You can try freelancing in your field and find out that you can make quite a bit of money that way! Just make sure to plan for your annual taxes since freelancers have to pay the taxes that their employers typically would on their earnings. You can also pick up some odd jobs to boost your income. After your unemployment benefits run out, you may need to take on a temp job or part-time job indefinitely to pay the bills.

termination, chart

Look Into Social Services Programs

In each county, there are emergency programs in place to assist with the costs of food and rent. You probably can qualify for food stamps if your unemployment runs out, along with child care assistance while you are searching for a job or help with rent or utilities. You don’t know what you can qualify for until you apply, and it can be worth the time to get in touch with your local office and find out what help you can receive while searching for a job. Moreover, if you are in dire need of assistance with your living expenses, you may want to connect with some local food pantries in your community that can help you and your family.

Related: What workers need to know before returning to work after an injury

In our current state of economic uncertainty, millions of people have lost their jobs and are finding it hard to get back on their feet. There are steps you can take to make sure your financial obligations are met during this difficult time. Invictus Law is a top worker’s compensation law firm in Orange County here to help workers receive the compensation they deserve. If you are seeking legal counsel in the workers compensation field, call Invictus Law today.

Looking for a worker’s comp lawyer in California? Call Invictus Law for a consultation today!

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