As the world shut downs to combat the spread of COVID-19, many businesses have closed their doors. Before the end of March, a record 3.3 million Americans had already applied for unemployment benefits because of the closures. Economists predict that if the coronavirus unemployment spike continues, over 40 million Americans could lose their jobs by the end of April.
If you’re one of the many people who’ve been laid off due to the pandemic, don’t lose hope. Instead, check out these tips that can help you stay afloat during this difficult time.
Apply for unemployment.
One of the best things you can do during the Coronavirus pandemic is apply for unemployment. In fact, both the federal and state governments are working to expedite the application process so unemployment benefits are more inclusive.
Even if you still have a job, you may qualify for temporary unemployment if your employer cut your hours in response to the pandemic. People who make the choice to self-quarantine or stay home with their children during this scary time should also apply. As part of a $2 trillion stimulus bill, Congress extended unemployment to gig workers, freelancers, part-time employees, and independent contractors. Additionally, the stimulus bill provides unemployed workers an extra $600 per week for up to four months.
You have time to get your life back on track.
The novel Coronavirus affects the entire world. Therefore, it’ll take everyone time to get their lives back on track once the pandemic passes. This is precisely why the federal government plans to cover up to 13 extra weeks of unemployment benefits during the pandemic (in addition to each state’s 12 to 28 weeks of benefits).
Furthermore, many U.S. cities have temporarily halted and banned evictions as a result of COVID-19. A wide array of cities have also put a hold on utility cut-offs due to missed bills. Because of these measures, you can rest assured that you will have running water, electricity, and a roof over your head until the pandemic ends.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Thanks to the $2 trillion stimulus package, you may receive a check from the government in the near future. However, if the check doesn’t cover your needs, there’s no shame in asking for extra help. If your friends or family members offer financial support and you need assistance, don’t feel ashamed for accepting their offers. Also, don’t feel bad about moving back in with your parents during this time, especially if it’ll help you with your finances.
If you desperately need immediate financial assistance, you can also look into taking out a loan. The stimulus package provides financial institutions with $500 billion for loans, loan guarantees, and investments at all levels of the economy. You can also take out economic injury disaster loans during this time.
Look for a side hustle.
Many essential businesses need extra help right now so that they can cope with panic buying and hoarding. Lots of grocery stores and department stores have immediate openings, and many are expediting their hiring processes. If you quickly need to get a job to get you through this crisis, working retail could be a good option for you.
If you feel like it’s safe for you, you can also take on odd jobs during the pandemic. As more schools and daycares close, many families struggle to balance work and childcare. The parents will appreciate your offer to babysit, and you can earn some extra cash, too.
Consider continuing your education.
If you’re searching for jobs but don’t vibe with the ones you qualify for,you can also use this time to continue your education and gain new skills. Many schools offer online degrees and certifications, which means that you can start learning today from the comfort of your home.
Also, the Ivy League schools currently offer over 400 free courses online to help you survive your quarantine. Take advantage of the knowledge you gain, and learn new skills that can help you grow in your career!
Coronavirus may have taken away our freedom, our health, and our jobs. However, it hasn’t taken away our dignity or our ability to bounce back. If your employer laid you off due to the pandemic, know that you are not alone, and you can take advantage of plenty of resources during this time. No matter your employment status, do your best to power through the situation. You are strong, and together we will make it to the light at the end of this Coronavirus tunnel.