The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis predicts that 47 million Americans could lose their jobs because of the coronavirus, which could push the unemployment rate above 25 percent. This is a level that this country hasn’t seen since the Great Depression.
While it will most likely get worse over the next couple of months, there is a proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. When things start back up, the economy will recover quickly, and hopefully everyone will get back to work soon! In the meantime, here are some steps you should consider taking if you have lost your job because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Don’t Do Anything Out of Fear
Just because you can liquidate your retirement savings without paying a penalty, doesn’t mean you should. In fact, you should only do it as a last resort. Evaluate your situation, and look at where you are financially. This can include your cash reserves, bills, assets, and liabilities. Take emotion out of the equation before you make a decision, and analyze your financial situation so you can see the big picture.
File for Unemployment
If you have lost your job, your first step is likely to file for unemployment. But you want to make sure you qualify. Any type of job loss that’s related to the coronavirus makes you eligible for these benefits, but the process is state-specific. In Texas, you can apply for benefits online or over the phone. But you must be “actively” looking for work while you’re collecting your payments.
What About Health Insurance?
If you have been furloughed because of the coronavirus, you’re probably able to keep what you have. But you need to make sure. If you were laid off, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to keep your health insurance. Make sure you check your spouse’s work options. COBRA and ObamaCare may also be possibilities, so you should take a look at them to see if you qualify.
Communication is Key
Everyone feels tempted to hide, but it’s the worst thing you can do at a time like this. Whether it’s an employer or a credit card company, make sure you ask for help. Let them know what’s going on, so they can help you get through your situation. It’s an unprecedented situation, and it’s not your fault. Communicate with whoever you need to, and don’t completely disappear.
Deliver Some Pizza!
Desperate times call for desperate measures, so you need to do whatever is necessary to make ends meet. Hopefully, this situation will be temporary. But in the meantime, you need to do what you have to so you can stay afloat in these unprecedented times.
For more advice on what you should do during these uncertain times, be sure to get in touch with Shakiba Capital!