What To Consider When You No Longer Have A Job
Figuring out how to manage your money is tough enough when you’ve got a job, but whole new dimensions of management worries appear when you lose your job. There are several notions to consider immediately following the loss of a job that may help to save money and ease the burden.
Your Last Check
Your former employer likely still owes you money, whether it’s the last paycheck from a lag payroll, a severance package based on an employment contract, a sales commission still due to you or an unpaid bonus. Find out the amount of money you are owed, and the date and time that money will be sent to you or transferred to your bank account. Have a contact person within your former employment’s Human Resources in the event the money does not arrive on time.
Check to see if you signed up over the last few years with a bank, credit card company or insurance agent for one or more of these insurance policies:
- Payment protection, usually in conjunction with a mortgage, installment loan or credit card balance
- Long-term income protection
- Short-term protection from income loss
All three make payments to you or to your debtors if you lose your primary source of income. Find out how to make a claim and do so immediately. Even though there will be a waiting period before payments can be made, it’s a good idea to submit the claim as soon as possible.
Apply right away. Every state in the United States provides some form of unemployment benefit payable to you when you lose your job. The program is funded by each individual state in conjunction with the federal government. Eligibility rules will vary from state to state, but, at the very least, you should be able to get at least 26 weekly payments based on your most recent income level. Be aware that unemployment benefits might be determined to be taxable as income. Extended benefits may be available during times of national fiscal crisis.
Though the United States health insurance system may be in turmoil now and for the next few years, there’s still COBRA, the means by which the health insurance you had with your company can be continued while you’re unemployed. COBRA stands for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986. The company you were previously employed with must have at least 20 employees for you to be eligible. You are not required to take the COBRA plan, so compare the cost of the other health insurance options you have against the COBRA payments.
A New Budget
Now that your income has changed, you may want to re-evaluate how you manage your money and perhaps look to adopt new saving strategies. Expenses such as mortgage payments, rent, insurance and utilities are required payments. Most of these required payments can be negotiated to result in easier payment schedules, or reduced interest. In order to save money and budget , you should consider all other expenses as items that you can substantially reduce or cut out completely.
Sometimes losing your job can make it seem like the world is coming to an end but it shouldn’t be seen as such a negative thing. Instead, think of the loss of a job as a new beginning, and a way to find another job or career that can be more fulfilling and rewarding.