If you’ve recently found yourself unemployed because of everything happening with the Coronavirus Pandemic, you’re not alone. These times are devastating for a lot of people, and it’s okay to allow yourself to feel whatever you need to feel right now.
If you need help with some next steps, check out our tips below.
File for unemployment, but know that websites are slower than usual
Record amounts of people are filing for unemployment right now, and some are saying the numbers will blow past what we saw in 2008. Unemployment benefits are in place for people who can’t work.
But according to The Guardian, with everything going on right now, “national lawmakers have made a broader group of people eligible for unemployment relief, including workers who are sick or have been quarantined, those who have been laid off or had hours reduced due to the outbreak and people who can’t work because they have to care for children.”
If you’ve never filed for unemployment before, start by Google searching your state + unemployment process. The state webpages will have step-by-step instructions for applying.
Because of the record high numbers of people applying right now, many of the sites are crashing. States like New York have divided their weekdays by last name to determine when you can apply. If you’re having trouble with the site, do not give up. Keep refreshing the page until you get in.
If you don’t have internet access, you can apply over the phone as well. Right now, both the phone and website applications are experiencing delays. But it doesn’t mean you won’t get through.
Check with your internet/phone provider
The Federal Communications Commission recently started the Keep Americans Connected pledge. Their goal is to get broadband and phone service providers to sign the pledge. So far, over 550 companies (including Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast) have signed.
What exactly is on the pledge? (From FCC’s website):
“For the next 60 days, companies will:
- Not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic;
- Waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and
- Open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.
Don’t worry about taxes just yet
Because of the “Emergency Declaration” recently enacted by the president, Federal taxes are now due on July 15th, 2020.
So, you don’t have to deal with them quite yet. If you want more info, you can check out the IRS’ explanation here.
Pause your student loans for a while-without interest
According to the Department of Education, student loan borrowers have a couple options in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“All borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% for a period of at least 60 days,” says U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
This means that since March 13, 2020 your loans have been automatically switched to 0% interest.
der if you’re wanting to use the 60-day suspension period. DeVos also says that “In addition, each of these borrowers will have the option to suspend their payments for at least two months to allow them greater flexibility during the national emergency. This will allow borrowers to temporarily stop their payments without worrying about accruing interest.”
Let your loan provider know ASAP if you want to take advantage of the 60-day suspension period (which unlike the 0% interest rate change is not automatic).
You can still apply for certain jobs
The service and hospitality industries are hurting. But if you’ve been recently laid off, there are still options for businesses that are in need during this time.
-Delivery Food Apps
-Pizza delivery companies
More job information here.
We hope this helps ease your mind even just a little bit. If you have more tips, please leave them in the comments section below! If you want to know how to help those in need at this time, please share this post or check out more advice here and here.