Out of Benefits?
The Next Step..
Here’s some suggestions on what to do next and where to get help for people who are running out of benefits and options.
Job Search Measures for Desperate Times…
I have heard from many people who are getting to the point of desperation – unemployment is running out, money is running out, there aren’t even many jobs to apply for. What to do next, is the question of the season.
First of all, try not to panic. Even though there are no easy answers, there are steps you can take to help survive these difficult times.
Ask for Help
First and foremost, ask for help. You are entitled to all the benefits you’re eligible for. You paid for most of them while you were working.
Contact your state Unemployment Office to make sure you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to. Also inquire about training programs, and ask what support is provided if you enroll in a program. If you are going to run out of unemployment compensation, consider a temporary job, so, you’ll have, at least, some income.
Determine your eligibility for food stamps. U.S. Government Info/Resources Guide, Robert Longley, has information on how to apply. Check to see what other benefits and services you may be eligible for.
If you belong to a church, call and ask for assistance. Most communities have nonprofit organizations that will be able to help with food, and, possibly, with holiday gifts for your children. Also, if you have children in school, ask the school if there are any programs which can help.
Let your friends and family know your circumstances. When my husband was out of work for close to a year, the best we could manage was to bake cookies for holiday gifts. We were able to get a short-term loan from family to help with the mortgage payments and with an attorney to temporarily reduce my husband’s child support payments. My sister-in-law opted out of holiday giving last year because of her financial circumstances and everyone understood.
Debby Fowles, Guide to Financial Planning, has some excellent advice in her article “Losing Your Job, Without Losing Your Shirt” including:
Resist the urge to use your credit cards unless absolutely necessary for critically important expenses.
Contact your creditors (credit card companies, etc.), tell them you’ve lost your job but are actively seeking employment, and request an arrangement that allows you to make token or reduced payments for a limited time.
Don’t Give Up
Most importantly, don’t give up and try not to take it personally. Susan Heathfield, About Guide to Human Resources says “The most important tip I offer job seekers is to consciously recognize that employers who fail to hire you are not rejecting you as a fundamentally capable and valuable human being… So, resolve to remind yourself daily that you are not being rejected when an employer fails to hire you.”
Use your network. Tell family, friends, business acquaintances – anyone and everyone you know that you are looking for work.
Treat your job search like a full-time job. It is work and, like all jobs, it takes time, effort and energy. If need be, take a break to regroup. Then refocus your energy and use this unexpected windfall of time as an opportunity to reassess your career goals and to get on track to find a new position.
Please note: This is general information on unemployment compensation and benefits. Contact your State Unemployment Office for a determination on your specific circumstances.