Find Out About the Unemployment Program & Resources

If you are currently unemployed, it is important to learn more about the Unemployment Insurance program, including whether or not you meet eligibility requirements and the potential amount of financial assistance that you may be able to receive while between jobs. 

In addition to learning about unemployment benefits, it is worth taking the time to discover additional ways that you may be able to find a new career path, including utilizing both online and offline application methods and free job boards. 

If you are unemployed, it may seem difficult, if not impossible, to find affordable healthcare. Yet, depending on the state that you live in and your personal situation, you may qualify for state or government assistance. Once you are no longer unemployed, it is important to learn how to relieve yourself of any debt you may have incurred while unemployed, and further improve your overall financial situation. 

Overview of Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment Insurance (UI) is a government program that provides temporary financial assistance to workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. In order to be considered eligible for assistance, the worker must also meet minimum wage, work length and other requirements. Eligibility requirements and compensation amounts vary between states. 

Workers who find themselves unemployed or at a sharp reduction in work hours must apply for benefits as soon as possible. While receiving benefits and during the application process, applicants and beneficiaries must continue to file claims (weekly or biweekly is most common, depending on the state) as well as maintain eligibility and make a considerable and documented effort to find work.

Learn About the Unemployment Debit Card

Most states use an unemployment debit card to provide funds to Unemployment Insurance beneficiaries on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis depending on the state. Funds are automatically deposited on a set date, so long as the UI beneficiary has continued to meet eligibility requirements and filed necessary claims within a timely manner. 

However, most unemployment debit cards do come with a few potential drawbacks. Most of these cards accrue fees for several different types of transactions, including ATM use, debit card use and more. Participants can choose to use their card to withdraw the entire benefit amount at an ATM. In most cases, this would only incur one small fee at most. 

How to Set up Direct Deposit

Should you wish to set up direct deposit, you will need to contact your state Department of Labor office in order to determine whether or not direct deposit is an option within your state. Many, though not all, states have begun to give UI beneficiaries the option of enrolling in direct deposit rather than obtaining a benefit card. 

Having direct deposit offers several key benefits, including the elimination of card fees and the ability to avoid going to the bank to deposit money from benefits. Direct deposit is often considered far more convenient for UI beneficiaries. 

The guide you downloaded contains a wealth of information and resources in order to ensure that you know the resources and programs that are available to you. Our experts have summarized this information and will provide further resources over the next couple of days, so be sure to keep an eye on your inbox. In the meantime, you can review more information in the sections that follow. 

  • Finding a job. 
  • Free job posting online. 
  • Working from home. 
  • Affordable health insurance. 
  • How to get out of debt. 

How to Find a Job

The best place to find a job is not specific to one location or one website. In fact, you increase your likelihood of finding a new career by applying for employment through multiple employers both online and offline. Additional resources, including job fares, can also assist you with reaching more potential employers. 

It is important to continue to apply for jobs even while waiting to hear back from employers that you have already applied with. This is crucial if you are currently receiving unemployment benefits, as you will be required to make a certain number of attempts at finding a job each week in order to maintain eligibility. Taking the time to touch base with a hiring manager following an application or interview may also increase your odds of being noticed. 

Learn About Free Job Posting Online

You may qualify to participate in a career training program through the Department of Labor while you are receiving Unemployment Insurance benefits depending on the state that you live within. These 1 to6 month career training programs can increase the likelihood that you will stand out amongst other applicants, especially if you would like to enter a new career field that you lack experience in. 

While there are many job posting sites that can assist you in getting your resume out to as many employers within your area as possible, it is also worth knowing that your local unemployment office may also be able to refer you for potential employment or pass your resume on. 

By using all of the resources that are available to you, you will likely be able to find a new career in a shorter amount of time. Don’t be afraid to utilize both online and offline resources, as some hiring managers will prefer one type of application over the other, which could affect the jobs that you apply for and whether or not you are chosen for a position. 

How to Work From Home

Work from home jobs have become more popular in recent years due to their convenience and flexibility. In fact, several career fields have begun to offer remote opportunities, including writing, customer service, transcriptionists, data entry and more. For instance, professionals in medical billing and coding work from home since information is sent electronically nowadays rather than in person. 

If you are interested in a work from home position, then it is worth knowing that many of these positions hire on a contract basis. This means that you will likely not be considered an employee but rather self-employed. For example, work from home accounting jobs may be ongoing but are typically considered “gig” work for one-time projects. 

You can find remote careers using many of the same job boards that will assist you in finding a career within your local area. Alternatively, you can also take advantage of several websites and apps that have begun to offer work on a “per-need” basis, such as Care.com or Rover.com, for work from home nursing jobs or pet care.

Lastly, check with your local unemployment office if you are interested in starting your own business. Depending on the state that you are in, your local office may have additional resources, education or training that could assist you in getting your business off of the ground. 

Learn About Affordable Health Insurance

Health insurance for unemployed workers can be crucial in maintaining a worker’s health and getting that worker back into the workforce more quickly. However, when living on an unemployment debit card, finding affordable health care can seem impossible. Fortunately, unemployed workers may be able to obtain free or cheap health insurance depending on the state they live in. 

Medicaid serves millions of Americans each year and provides comprehensive health care to low-income households and individuals who would not be able to afford health care otherwise. Aside from income, eligibility is determined by the state. The federal government mandates some, though not all, coverage that must be provided under the Medicaid program. Therefore, both coverage and eligibility for Medicaid may differ from one state to the next. 

In addition to Medicaid, Medicare is another affordable health insurance option for applicants who qualify as either a senior citizen or a disabled person. Medicare offers a variety of insurance options in order to allow participants to build their own health insurance package. Additionally, some Medicare beneficiaries may also be eligible for Medicaid, thus, reducing or eliminating Medicare costs. 

Finally, you can find health insurance quotes on Healthcare.gov to review your options and the income-based credits that you may qualify for. You may even set up direct deposit to pay your premium each month once approved. When providing Healthcare.gov your basic information, including household size and income level, the website will also notify you if you may be eligible to receive health care from other programs, such as Medicaid or Medicare. 

How to Get Out of Debt

Paying off debt can seem overwhelming, especially if you currently have little to no income or if you have just made your way into a new career. However, it is important to do so in a timely manner in order to prevent the debt from increasing due to interest rates and late fees as well as prevent a negative impact on your credit score. 

By learning how debt affects your credit score, you will be better prepared to deal with your creditors and may be able to prevent an account from going to collections. Creditors typically report to at least one of the three credit bureaus once every one to three months. If you are late on payments, that information will be reported, which can damage your score. 

However, you may also be able to make an arrangement with the creditor to allow you to enter a payment plan, which can sometimes help you to avoid any demerit records on your credit history. If the account does still ding your credit, it is still better to deal with creditors directly before a debt reaches collections. Once an account has gone to collection, it can have a more significant impact on your credit score and your credit history. This information can then remain on your account for up to seven years, in most cases. 

 If you need help paying tax debt, then you will need to contact the IRS to make a payment arrangement. It is very important that you do so as failing to pay tax-related debts can have several consequences, including high-interest rates, additional fees, wage garnishment and the future withholding of tax refunds. By making an arrangement with the IRS ahead of time, you can work with the IRS to reduce and ultimately eliminate your tax-related debts.