Get started filing for unemployment and get back to financial stability!
Remember when you couldn’t wait for to the 15th and 30th of each month? Waiting in line at the bank on Friday wasn’t even a big deal, because getting paid was totally worth it! And sure, maybe it only lasted the weekend before you were basically broke and living off of $50 until you got paid again, but at least the bills were paid and going out that weekend had been worth it.
At first, it feels like the worst part of being fired is the embarrassment or frustration, until it hits you- the cash flow has stopped. Forget pocket money, rent is due on the 1st of the month! Don’t panic, you may have options. Before you start selling your T.V., your plasma, or any unmentionables, you need to find out if you qualify for unemployment. Check out this quick reference for surviving the financial strain of getting fired.
Obviously, I’m Unemployed, But What is “Unemployment”?
Simply stated, “unemployment” is a benefit system run by your state government. Benefits include a supplemental income and insurance. Wait…Can I collect a check from the government after I get fired? Yes! It sounds too good to be true, but you could qualify!
A common misconception is that only people who have been laid off can collect unemployment, but in many states, people who have been fired can qualify too. (As long as you weren’t fired for misconduct!) Each state decides its own regulations. For example, you generally had to have been employed for a certain amount of time and made a minimum amount of money to qualify for collecting unemployment benefits.
But if you flew off the handle one day and up and quit your job- you’re out of luck. Unemployment benefits are not offered to anyone who voluntarily left their workplace.
Finally, to get unemployment benefits you have to be actively looking and applying for new jobs. Which, after that first day of not giving a crap, you are probably already on top of that.
Get started by logging in to the federal government’s website and clicking on your state to see your state’s unemployment guidelines and application process.
I Ran Out of Money Like Yesterday, How Long Will This Take?
Too long. Your best move is to apply for unemployment as soon as you get fired or laid off. Unfortunately, like most things run by the government, things in the unemployment application department move slowly. It can take some time for benefits to kick in.
The average wait time is 2-3 weeks from the date of application. But even if you have to live off a credit card for a couple weeks, it’s worth applying. The benefits can tide you over until you find a new job- up to 13 weeks in some states!
Applying is not exactly a snap either. “Red tape” is the government norm. Be prepared for a stack of papers and headache! (Maybe sit down and work on it with a beer…or tequila)
So I’m eligible, and I applied. How much can I expect to get?
This totally depends on what you were earning at your old job. Most states operate on a calculation called the high-quarter method, and it’s actually in your favor.
It’s not complicated. The state looks at the period during the past year that your earnings were the highest, finding a weekly average for that quarter. An unemployment check will be approximately half of what you earned weekly during that highest paying period.
Living on half is hard, but living on nothing is worse. Applying for unemployment is completely worth a shot. Visit here to get your application rolling and cash following again.
If you’ve lost your job due to the coronavirus consider checking out this article from Bankrate.com on 13 steps to take if you’ve lost your job due to the coronavirus crisis.
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