As unemployment soars and the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, stories of unemployment and financial hardship are dominating major news outlets and social media alike. Being unemployed can be a struggle in the best of times, but the business closures and shutdowns instituted in response to this pandemic make finding new employment even more daunting. If you have found yourself unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, here are a few things to research and keep in mind as you plan your next career move.

Consider Filing for Unemployment Insurance

Many states are struggling to keep up with the record number of applications for unemployment insurance, but completing all necessary forms and filing for unemployment is often a good first step for the newly unemployed. Many states have eased their restrictions on who can apply and in what situations, so be sure to investigate your state’s updated regulations with regards to unemployment. While there is typically a waiting period and a delay while applications are processed, unemployment can provide significant financial relief for those who are out of work.

Evaluate the State of Your Health Insurance

For people who have had health insurance through their employers, becoming unemployed during a pandemic can be a terrifying prospect. Having adequate healthcare is more important than ever. Fortunately, many states have reopened the open enrollment period for their state-provided health insurance plans. Another option is COBRA, a federal program that allows laid-off workers to stay on their former employer’s health insurance for eighteen months after being laid off. Some unemployed people may also qualify for programs like Medicaid. Of course, private health insurance plans are always an option. Compare all available plans to see which one makes the most financial sense.

Take a Hard Look at Your Budget

Curbing unnecessary spending is an excellent way to make your savings last during a period of unemployment, and turning a sharp eye to your budget is crucial. Determine which recurring payments may be able to go. Subscription services and unused memberships can be a significant drain on one’s finances, so look into canceling any services or memberships that you do not use. Cut spending wherever possible. Some private lenders, utility companies, landlords, and federal agencies are working with borrowers to defer payments. However, deferrals can end up negatively impacting your finances in the long term, so be sure to read all of the fine print for these agreements.

Navigate Life’s Financial Challenges with EveryIncome

EveryIncome is dedicated to providing our clients with career and finance management tools to help them create a stable financial future. Regardless of where you are in life, our system of tools and guided learning is tailored to fit your specific needs. Take control of your financial health today. Contact the team at EveryIncome online or give us a call at (571)370-5400. For more tips and tricks to foster financial wellness, follow EveryIncome on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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