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5 Steps You Can Take If You Do Not Qualify for Unemployment
Unemployment insurance (UI) may provide you with monetary benefits if you are unemployed and meet other eligibility requirements such as restrictions based on other income sources you may have. However, there are several reasons why your unemployment benefits claim may be denied. For example, you may have been fired from your job for reasons such as misconduct. Alternatively, you may be denied UI benefits because you may not have earned enough wages during the base period used to calculate your eligibility for UI assistance. The state may also deny your unemployment benefits claim if you have exhausted your available benefits for the current time period (in general, you may only collect unemployment benefits for a maximum of 26 weeks per 12-month benefits claim). However, regardless of the reason you do not currently qualify for unemployment assistance, there are a few tips which may help improve your financial situation. Read more below.
Tip 1: Adjust Your Weekly and Monthly Budgets
It is unlikely that you will find new work immediately after losing your job. Therefore, you must anticipate having little or no income for at least a couple of months if you do not qualify to collect unemployment insurance. To compensate for your lack of work, sit down soon after your job loss and make a detailed list of your weekly and monthly monetary needs. When you have a list of what you have been spending in front of you it will also help you to find places where your weekly or monthly expenditures can be reduced. Eliminate any unnecessary expenses, such as going out to dinner, from your budget in order to give yourself more of a monetary buffer while you look for new work.
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Tip 2: Learn How to Apply for Other State Assistance Programs
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF program is administered by the state just like unemployment insurance. Even if you cannot qualify for UI you may still be eligible for TANF assistance based on your household income level.
You may also apply for any other programs operating in your state which assist unemployed or low-income individuals. One additional assistance program for which you may qualify is SNAP, otherwise known as food stamps. Under SNAP, eligible applicants can receive a set amount of credit which must be spent to purchase food at venues which participate in the SNAP program. Examples of such venues include certain participating grocery and convenience stores, as well as participating farmer’s markets. Having SNAP credits to use for food will free up more money in your budget for you to put toward paying other living expenses. You may also be able to take advantage of other programs which could help you to reduce your monthly bills, including the Weatherization Assistance Program.
Tip 3: Learn How to Apply for Local Assistance Programs
In addition to statewide assistance programs, there are also many programs administered at the local level which can help you when you find yourself unemployed and unable to collect UI benefits. Contact your local Salvation Army, churches or other community charitable organizations for more information about local assistance programs for which you may be eligible.
Tip 4: Contact Associates Who May Help You Obtain Work
Even after you reduce your monthly expenditures and apply for state and local assistance programs for which you qualify you must still make finding work quickly your top priority. One way to increase your chances of obtaining a new job with relative ease is to take advantage of your network of contacts. Begin by contacting former coworkers at previous places of employment. Make it known to your former business associates that you are interested in any job openings which may arise within their present companies. Then go through the same process with your personal contacts, such as friends and family members, who will then be able to tell you if they hear about any open jobs in the local area.
Tip 5: Explore Different Part-Time Earning Opportunities
Obtaining a full-time job is not the only way in which you can earn an income. If you are unemployed and unable to collect unemployment insurance benefits for one reason or another then it may benefit you to begin to explore different part-time earning opportunities which can provide you with the money you need to pay your bills in the immediate future. Depending on your background and skills you may qualify for such part-time or self-employment ventures as selling products online, providing freelance writing services or developing websites for businesses. Alternatively, you may choose to become a tutor or teach classes in an area in which you are familiar, such as dancing or playing a musical instrument. Any income source you can develop may help you until you find a new full-time position. Any part-time business venture you establish may also continue to supplement your household income even after you have obtained a new full-time job.