Unemployed? Here’s Where to Find Help

How To Find Help Fast If You’re Unemployed

(DailyDig.com) – The loss of a job often leads to a very difficult living situations. For many unemployed workers, the loss of work also means the loss of health insurance. With many Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck, few can afford to be without income for long.

Thankfully, there are a number of unemployment benefits available, assuming you were not terminated for cause. Here are some to look towards first.

Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment insurance is managed at the state level. It is funded through payroll taxes. Unemployment insurance is intended to get you through a brief period of time while you find another job. Typically it is only available for workers who are laid off, or rather terminated because of lack of work and/or your employer’s financial problems. It takes a couple of weeks to get the first check, and the assistance lasts only for a few weeks.

Continuation of Health Coverage: COBRA

COBRA allows employees who are enrolled in covered plans to extend their benefits while they find another job. You can get COBRA after voluntary¬†or involuntary separation, or if your hours are reduced to part-time and your employer doesn’t normally cover part-time employees.

The coverage must be exactly the same as that given to active employees and their families, meaning the same coverage for the same price as before termination. COBRA coverage can last 18 months after job loss, which is typically enough time to get to the enrollment period at a new job.

However, beneficiaries can still lose coverage if they don’t pay their premiums or commit fraud.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

For unemployed people with children, TANF may help you survive until you find a new job. The primary purpose of TANF is to protect children and you will be required to spend a good amount of time each week looking for work, taking classes that might help you find a job, etc.

TANF is also administered at the state level and you will need to check with your state to find out what the specific requirements are and how to apply. TANF is intended for short term survival and the program’s funding is also sometimes used to support training and education programs.

Unemployment Education and Training Programs

Sometimes it’s not possible to find a job in the same field. The world changes and may leave some workers behind. Because of this, there are a variety of programs designed to help unemployed people get training to find a new or better job. These include:

  1. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. This provides programs primarily for vulnerable populations such as youth, Native Americans, and former prisoners. Most programs are at the state or local level.
  2. Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers. If your job has been offshore, this can provide income for workers while they retrain, and money to support relocation or job search.
  3. The Dislocated Worker program. A dislocated worker is somebody who has been or is about to be laid off. Rapid Response services can provide career counseling, resume preparation, and help applying for benefits.

Unemployed workers should also check out their local American Job Center, which can also provide them with a variety of services, primarily in terms of finding training opportunities and optimizing their job search.

Ending up unemployed, regardless of the reason, can put people in a place of significant financial hardship. However, there are a number of ways they can get help, both to survive a period of unemployment and to rapidly find a new job.

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