In the United States alone, COVID-19 has led to over 16 million people filing for unemployment in the last three weeks. If you have found yourself without a job, you’re not alone. Read on for the latest tips on how to maximize your current situation!


What to do if you were furloughed or are temporarily unemployed?

If you are on furlough due to the coronavirus, it is very likely that you are eligible for unemployment benefits. With the passing of the CARES act, and expanding unemployment protections, more workers than ever qualify. The benefit you receive will depend on how much money you were earning, as well as your states’ guidelines.

On top of usual payments, the CARES act could provide $600 a week for some unemployed workers, until July 31. You will need to visit your state’s unemployment website and apply. Try to do this as quickly as you can because it will likely take a while to process. Many states have waived the week-long waiting period, so you can file immediately after you become unemployed. 

Equally important—make sure that you are registered to receive your part of the stimulus package. There has been a lot of confusion over who is eligible to receive financial assistance, and how and when it will appear.

If you are a US resident who has a social security number or the legal authority to work and pay taxes in the United States, you are very likely eligible. However, if you are under 24 and can be claimed as a dependent, or are an undocumented immigrant, you are not eligible. Also, if you make over $75,000 a year, you will not receive the full $1,200 for individuals, or $2,400 for couples. Couples with children under 17 should receive $500 per child, but only if they already qualify for the financial assistance. 

If you haven’t already applied for food stamps (SNAP), now is a great time to apply. Research your city’s program to find out more! You can also contact a local food bank. In some cities, there are even locations offering food packages for pickup. Research locally to find out more. While you are at home, if you are seeking affordable WIFI, many companies are providing low cost options. Some phone providers are also removing the cap on data usage, so contact your provider to see if this is available to you.

Once you have the proper connection, now is a great time to learn a new skill, such as improving another language, or learning to code! You may come out of the virus with a new passion—but don’t feel pressure to do so. Check in with your emotions throughout the next few months, and learn to listen to your body. 

What to do if you were laid off? 

All of the same tips apply! This will also be a great opportunity to brush up your cover letter and resume. With nothing but time on your hands, this is a great time to boost your confidence. If you need some inspiration check out our free, downloadable resume templates! We also offer online career coaching, as well online courses for landing your next job. 

If you plan to apply for a new position immediately, you have options. While millions of jobs have been lost due to COVID-19, many other sectors have grown. You could apply to teach a language online, work in an essential position, or find a company hiring for next year. Whatever you decide to do, know that you are not alone, and you will make it through this!

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