Tragically, COVID-19 has caused some major upheaval in our nation, and while some places are seeing decreasing numbers like Maryland and Massachusetts, places like Kentucky and Florida are seeing increasingly high levels. Even in states with fewer cases, job numbers remain low. If you have lost your job, there are many ways to get help and possibly even some new jobs.

Unemployment         

An entrepreneur covering her right eye with her hand while wearing a shirt that says "Don't Worry"
An entrepreneur covering her right eye with her hand while wearing a shirt that says “Don’t Worry”

The first thing you’ll want to do is file an unemployment claim. Though you may believe that your situation makes you unable to receive benefits, the Department of Labor previewed new advice for states around the flexibility to offer unemployment insurance to workers affected by COVID-19.

Some states reward former workers; for instance, if:

  • A workplace closed for a period of time due to COVID-19
  • A worker is quarantined, but plans to go back to work
  • A worker has left work for a short period because he or she has to take care of a family member or due to caution around obtaining an infection

CARES Act and Other Congressional Issues

On March 27, President Donald Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2 trillion reenergizing initiative that elongates unemployment benefits. This package brought welcome relief to many Americans; hopefully, the reader included. Democrats and Republicans are currently working on another bill that will provide more aid and unemployment benefits as another wave of coronavirus sweeps the nation.

Have You Considered Remote Work?

An entrepreneur hustling on her laptop at a cafe
An entrepreneur hustling on her laptop at a cafe

Whether or not you possess a college degree, many jobs let you work remotely right now. Try heading over to Indeed.com or Monster.com to check job listings. There are also some jobs that you can do from home on Zoom or Skype now, such as music teacher, English tutor, foreign language tutor, or Science tutor. The site Preply.com is very accommodating.

And if working from home isn’t your deal, you can always try options such as working at a restaurant (many dining options are currently open for business) or perhaps even getting on the front lines as a grocery worker, many of whom are in higher demand than ever in the pandemic days.

Food Issues

Bags of various fruits and vegetables
Bags of various fruits and vegetables

Another question seems to be what to do for food, in case one starts running out due to low income. If you don’t have enough food, there are many local food banks that you can find. I, myself, have been to a food bank run by my university in Maryland and, not only have they provided me with hope, but they’ve provided me with cereal, green beans, romaine lettuce, onions, organic cereal, pasta, and more. When they were running during the school year, there were more organic options, but I think times are tighter now.

Interested in Extra Help from Credit Card Companies?

Ally Bank is delaying your auto payments for up to 120 days, while American Express is getting rid of late payment fees for the time being. Check with your bank to see if they provide any assistance during these challenging times.

Health Insurance

A stethoscope and a pen on a notepad
A stethoscope and a pen on a notepad

Many who lose their jobs also lose their health insurance. The way to cope with something like this is by looking at how how long you’ve left before your insurance ends — end of the month, end of the week. Then look into COBRA, a program that allows you to hang onto the insurance of your previous employer after your job ends. Your children and other dependents would also be eligble for benefits from this program.

Worried over student loans?

President Trump just signed a bill that gives a 6 month payment interruption for those with student loan debts. The bill is protracts the 60 day forgiveness time released by the Board of Education.

Have you experienced unemployment during the pandemic? How have you been coping? Let us know in the comments!

This article originally published on GREY Journal.