The unemployed are staying unemployed for longer than before as the economy struggles to recover from the Great Recession. It has been estimated that there are nearly 6 unemployed workers for every job opening available across the country and whole towns have faced mass unemployment as the employers in their areas have closed down or moved away. While unemployment checks can help you pay your bills for quite a bit of time, they are not endless and may run out before you have gotten back on your feet. Fortunately, there are some actions that you can take to get the resources that you need for you and your family when your unemployment checks run out.
Applying For Government Assistance
There are many different types of government assistance that are available to those that have lost all or a significant portion of their income. The government can help you with obtaining health care, securing housing, providing food, and assisting with energy costs. Some programs are implemented by the federal government while others are available at the state and local levels. To obtain these services, you will need to apply for the ones that you qualify for and provide proof of hardship to satisfy documentation requirements. It can take a considerable amount of time for applications to be processed and for aid to be approved, so make sure to apply as soon as you are able.
Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) – This program allows qualifying unemployed homeowners to reduce or suspend mortgage payments for 12 months or more to provide them with the opportunity to look for a job without having to worry about foreclosure.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) – This program provides unemployed individuals with help with applying for food stamps, financial assistance, training, and job search resources.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – This program provides special debit cards that the unemployed person can use to buy food for themselves and their families.
Medicaid – This program provides medical benefits to those who have inadequate medical insurance and to low income people who have no medical insurance.
Obtaining Help From Non-Profit and Social Services Agencies
There are numerous social services agencies that provide assistance to needy citizens living in the area. The exact nature of the services provided can vary from location to location because the services are typically provided by local churches and other non-profit organizations. These social service agencies can help you find space in a local homeless shelter, direct you to local food banks, or provide you with a directory of the various specific agencies offering services for unemployed workers and their families.
For more on this topic, check out our postings on making money while unemployed and nine realistic ways to make money while unemployed.