What to do if you lost your job during the Coronavirus
The Collective Rising |
We would be hard-pressed to find a single person that is not feeling the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.
More than 40 million people have filed for unemployment benefits since COVID-19 hit, an unparalleled number economists say. Additionally, according to a recent study, approximately 18 percent of American households report that at least one member of their family has already lost their job or had their hours reduced at work as a result of the pandemic. Despite all this uncertainty, one thing is clear – everyone is having a hard time.
According to Bankrate.com, only 37 percent of Americans have enough savings to cover a $500 emergency. A study by CareerBuilder shows that more than two-thirds of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Missing even one paycheck can be a disaster for many families – meaning they don’t have enough money for necessities such as food, bills, and mortgage payments.
If you are one of the many who have already lost your income due to the pandemic, here are some steps you should take immediately.
File for unemployment:
File quickly, as soon as you lose your job or have your hours dramatically reduced. With so many filing right there, many people have reported difficulties submitting their online application. If you need to call for additional assistance, be sure to research the requirements to apply and have those details ready before you speak to a representative.
If you’re not sure if you’re eligible for unemployment but are struggling, consider filing anyway. The federal government is allowing states to expand eligibility for unemployment benefits because of the pandemic’s impact. For example, you can file if your employer had to temporarily shut down operations because of COVID-19, or if you are currently being quarantined, but expect to return to work as your state reopens.
Call your mortgage company and ask for assistance.
Depending on your specific situation, you may be eligible to have your mortgage payments reduced or suspended for up to 12 months. Your first step should be to call your mortgage lender to find out if you are eligible for any flexibility and then proceed with determining the course of action.
Ask the same of your student loan provider and credit card companies.
If you owe any debt, call and ask for assistance. Many credit card companies have financial hardship programs in place where they can temporarily reduce payments or provide other assistance in the case of emergencies, such as this pandemic.
Additionally, regarding student loans, you may be able to reduce or pause your monthly payments. Make sure you keep googling the latest updates from the federal administration to see if there are any new programs or initiatives.
Cut your budget.
If you don’t have a budget, you need to create one. Review all your current expenses and see where you can cut down. A good place to start is by canceling subscriptions on auto-renew and pausing your memberships to social and sports clubs, as you likely won’t be able to visit and fully enjoy all their offerings for the foreseeable future.
Consider taking on side gigs.
While the pandemic has impacted almost every industry, there is still an ongoing demand for creative assets and digital assistance jobs. During this time, there are many ways to be creative and generate additional income. Consider copywriting, product photography, video editing, creating an online course, or becoming a virtual assistant.
Just because we are socially distancing ourselves from each other does not mean we can’t network. Update your resume, your LinkedIn, and your profile on The Collective Rising. Reach out to friends and contacts in your industry to let them know you are on the job hunt.
While this is a hard time for everyone, this too shall pass. Be proactive about protecting yourself and your family, and take advantage of all the initiatives, aid, and resources available to help individuals during the pandemic.