Millions of people are still unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But many state governors believe the additional unemployment benefits deserve at least part of the blame.
As of May 26, at least 23 governors said they plan to withdraw early from the $300 weekly federal benefit provided under the US bailout that is set to expire September 6.
If your state is among the 23 states that ended unemployment early, don’t wait to take action. Additional benefits will end as early as June 12 in some states. Here are eight steps to take before your benefits expire.
8 things to do if your state is ending unemployment early
Even if your benefits are safe for now, start making a plan as soon as possible. Other countries could follow suit, and no matter what, September will be here before you know it.
1. Create an open budget
a bare budget It includes only your basic needs: housing and utilities, food, health care, and minimum debt payments. Set a simple budget and start living on it now, so that you can throw away any extra money you get now to help cover expenses once your federal benefits are over.
2. Find a job in an industry that hires quickly
If you are still looking for work, consider a bridge work. Basically, it’s any job that helps you pay the bills, even if it’s not your ideal job. With many companies having trouble hiring employees right now, you may be able to negotiate better pay than you could in the pre-pandemic days in areas that traditionally don’t pay well.
For example, 160,000 restaurant jobs You pay more than $10 an hour. Across the country, employers in foodservice, retail, and hospitality are holding job fairs, with many hiring on the spot. Also check out The Penny Hoarder’s Work from home job portal, which regularly displays entry-level remote menus.
3. Take a side hustle
Your goal here is to find any way to start monetizing before your benefits expire. There are a lot of easy things side hustle You can afford it now with a little upfront cost to start making extra cash. Some ideas include:
- Drive on Uber or Lyft. Ride-share companies Uber and Lyft are short on drivers, which makes it possible for drivers to earn $25 an hour or more in some markets.
- Do weird tasks on TaskRabbit. Use the app to connect with people near you who need help with tasks like assembling furniture, cleaning and painting.
- Grocery delivery Through apps like Instacart or Shipt.
- Babysitting. Find gigs through sites like Care.com and SitterCity.
- Pet sitting and sitting at home. When people resume travel, they will need services such as pet care and housekeeping that were not in high demand last year.
4. Find rental assistance
Congress has appropriated nearly $47 billion to help distressed renters, but getting a portion of that money is very complicated. Such as I mentioned VoxThere are more than 340 agencies that administer that aid, each with their own set of rules.
One good resource for navigating this process is the 211 helpline, operated by the United Way. Simply call 211, and you’ll be in touch with someone who knows the resources in your community. Because of the lengthy process involved, it is imperative that you take this step as quickly as possible.
5. Get nutritional assistance
Hotline 211 can also connect you to food stores near you. If you can get help from a food bank and lower your grocery bill now, try to put any extra money into emergency savings.
visit also Benefits.gov To determine if you are eligible for SNAP benefits. It may take up to 30 days to receive benefits through the normal application process, but you may be eligible for expedited benefits, depending on your state.
6. Contact your unemployment office
You may still qualify for unemployment benefits in your state, but the rules will vary by state. Most states place limits on how long you can receive benefits. Some states are also ending federal programs that extend benefits to workers who would otherwise exhaust fringe benefits Epidemic unemployment assistance For gig workers who do not qualify for benefits.
Although it is difficult to deal with your state’s unemployment office, it is essential to contact them immediately to see if you qualify for state assistance. In some cases, you may need to submit a new application or apply for an extension.
7. Ask creditors for patience
Although banks don’t advertise forbearance programs as widely as they were a year ago, contact lenders to see if skipping or deferring payments is an option. The best time to do this is always before you miss a payment.
Be sure to ask how they will report your payment status to the credit bureaus. If they are going to report your payment as late, you can Balance level will collapse.
If you have federal student loans, take advantage of automatic endurance Valid until at least September 30th. You can request a refund of any payments you have made since March 2020.
8. Don’t pay debts if you put your health or your home at risk
In the event of a real emergency, you may have to decide which bills to pay. If your unemployment benefits expire early before you find a job, you may find yourself in this situation.
Try working with your lenders. But focus on paying rent and utilities, keeping food on the table or getting the medication you need before making credit card payments or loans.
Yes, it will damage your credit score if you miss payments without your lender’s permission. But you can recover from bad credit. While your credit score is important, your health and housing are much bigger priorities.
Robin Hartell is a certified financial planner and senior writer for The Penny Hoarder. She writes a personal financial advice column Dear Penny. Send your tough financial questions to [email protected]