How Should I Pay My Bills If I Dont Have A Job
Before you do anything else, see if theres any relief available for some of your bills.
If you have a mortgage, federal officials have imposed a nationwide halt to foreclosures and evictions for more than 30 million Americans with home loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration or two government-controlled companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
But close to 5 million homeowners with loans valued at $3.7 trillion are not covered by federal moratoriums, according to Inside Mortgage Finance, an industry research group. Some states, including California and New York, have paused foreclosure and eviction that would also apply to those borrowers. In other states, homeowners may have to negotiate arrangements with their mortgage provider. Regulators are encouraging banks and other mortgage providers to simply extend the life of the mortgage to make up for any missed payments brought on by joblessness.
For renters, the Cares Act in most cases forbids landlords from evicting tenants for 120 days on properties secured by government-backed mortgages . But that leaves 40 million renters without protection. Some municipalities, including Los Angeles, have passed laws temporarily banning evictions. Others, and some nonprofits, have launched rental assistance funds for residents struggling to make payments.
The new law also automatically suspends payments for six months for the 42 million Americans holding $1.5 trillion in federal student loan debt.
What Documents And Information Do I Need To Apply
It will take about 60 minutes to complete the online application form for EI benefits. To apply, you will need the following information:
- your Social Insurance Number
- your mother’s maiden name
- your mailing and residential addresses, including the postal codes
- your complete banking information to sign up for direct deposit, including the financial institution name, the bank branch number, and your account number
- the names, addresses, dates of employment, and reason for separation for all your employers for the last 52 weeks
- your detailed version of the facts, if you quit or have been dismissed from any job in the last 52 weeks and
- the dates and earnings for each of your highest paid weeks of insurable earnings in the last 52 weeks or since the start of your last EI claim, whichever is the shorter period. This information will be used, along with your Record of Employment, to calculate your weekly EI benefit rate.
You may also have to provide the following details if you are reactivating an existing claim:
- the salary amount before deductions you received for the last week you worked , including tips and commissions and
- any other amounts you received or will receive .
Important Information On Your Employment Insurance Access Code
Your access code is the four-digit code printed in the shaded area of your benefit statement. You need to have it with you whenever you want to obtain information about your benefit claim and when you submit your reports. Your access code is used to identify you and ensure the confidentiality of the information you provide.
Do not share your access code with anyone, since you will be held responsible if someone accesses your information or modifies your claim without your knowledge. Always store it in a safe place and, for added protection, be sure to store it separately from your Social Insurance Number.
If you received a temporary access code, you will need to change it. You can also change your current access code for security reasons. Simply call the EI Telephone Information Service at 1-800-206-7218 Choose “1” and follow the instructions to change your access code.
If you lose your access code, please call the EI Telephone Information Service at 1-800-206-7218 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Choose “0” to speak to an agent. You may also visit a Service Canada Centre. In either case, you will be asked questions to verify your identity, and you will be issued a new access code.
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File An Initial Application
You should file your UC application for benefits using one of the following methods:
- Online An online application can be filed using our secure website 7 days a week, 24 hours
- Telephone An application can be filed on the statewide unemployment compensation toll-free number at 1-888-313-7284.
- For claimants filing a NEW claim: If you are filing for benefits for the first time, you need to contact the UC Service Center and let them know youll need to file by phone in the future. The UC Service Center will file an initial application and provide you a PIN number to use while filing over the phone in the future.
- Videophone service For individuals who use American Sign Language videophone service is available every Wednesday from noon to 4 p.m. at 717-704-8474. Sign language is the ONLY means of communication provided through the Videophone.
Most People Who Are Eligible To Recieve Unemployment Benefits Will Recieve An Additional 25 Weeks Of Benefits Through September 6 2021
Most states pay unemployment benefits for 26 weeks .
The March 2021 American Rescue Plan allows states to pay benefits for an extra 13 weeks, through September 6. The $300 weekly supplemental benefit will be available through September 6.
In most states you will automatically receive the extended benefits if you are eligible. In some cases you might have to contact your state’s Unemployment Insurance program. Learn more at your states unemployment insurance website.
Have more questions about Unemployment Insurance? Visit FAQs about Unemployment.
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I Dont Think I Will Qualify
Has reading so much has led you to believe that you would not qualify for the benefits? If so, we still strongly recommend that you still proceed with filing your application. This article is only informative. Only the State Unemployment Agency has the absolute authority to decide if you qualify or not. Apply all the same, and think of the rest later. You can also refer to our Unemployment Q & A section for more information.
What If I Worked In Multiple States Where Do I File For Pua
The DOL has clarified that a self-employed individual must file with the state where he or she was working at the time of becoming unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work because of an approved COVID-19 related reason. If an individual worked in more than one state at this time, the individual may file in any of those states. So go for the state where you can get the largest weekly benefit .
New DOL guidance that expands PUA eligibility to three additional categories of workers:
- Jobless workers receiving unemployment benefits who had their continued regular unemployment benefits claims denied after they refused to work or accept an offer of work at a worksite not in compliance with coronavirus health and safety standards.
- Workers laid off, or who have had their work hours reduced as a direct result of COVID-19.
- School employees working without a contract or reasonable assurance of continued employment who face reduced paychecks and no assurance of continued pay when schools are closed due to coronavirus.
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Which Documents Do I Need To File An Unemployment Claim
As with other parts of the unemployment program, required documents vary by state, but some may ask for some combination of the following:
- Driver’s license or state-issued ID card
- Social Security number
- Mailing address
- Your previous employer’s federally issued identification number
- Your work history over the past two years, which should include each employer’s business name and address
Remember that to continue to receive weekly benefits, you may be asked to file a new claim every one or two weeks.
You Don’t Apply For Unemployment Insurance
If determining whether you’re eligible for unemployment, and actually applying for it, seems complex, that’s because it is. Every state determines who qualifies for unemployment aid and what the application process entails.
Recently, unemployment assistance has opened up to include nearly every person who’s lost work, through no fault of their own, due to the coronavirus.
“The biggest question I’ve been getting is, ‘My circumstance is X-Y-Z should I apply?'” says Michele Evermore, senior policy analyst at the National Employment Law Project, a nonprofit research firm. “And the answer to that is almost always ‘yes.'”
Workers will qualify for aid if they were laid off, furloughed or had their hours cut. You can also check with your state’s department of labor to determine additional eligibility, such as if you lost work because you were diagnosed with Covid-19, you’re providing care to a family member with the virus, you have to care for a child due to school closures, you’re unable to get to work due to closures or other qualifying reasons.
People who’ve seen a reduction in work hours and wages due to the virus may qualify for partial unemployment.
“In this particular period in history, getting an unemployment check isn’t good just for you, but it’s good for the local economy, and it’s an important public health measure,” Evermore says. “People need to take these benefits and not be making ends meet by going out to work.”
How Soon Do I File Unemployment After Losing My Job
Many unemployment claimants are unsure of how the unemployment filing process goes, especially the time frame for filing an initial claim. You cant file for unemployment before your last day of work, even if you know your job will be terminated soon. After the last day of work, its always best to file your claim as soon as possible to speed up the process. Waiting week requirements and severance pay may delay the start of your unemployment payments but not the date you can file your claim.
If COVID-19 has affected your job, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits. Head to the Department of Labor’s website for updates, and check out careeronestop to learn how to file for unemployment in your state.
What Is A Back
Some states have launched programs using funds from the American Rescue Plan to incentivize people for taking a job.
Arizona set aside $300 million of federal funds to offer a one-time $2,000 bonus for people who rejoin the workforce with a full-time job. Those who go back to work part-time receive a $1,000 one-time stipend. Workers must also make less than $25 dollars an hour or the equivalent salary of $52,000 a year.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s office also announced the state would cover up to three months of child care for returning workers.
Montana’s Return-to-Work Bonus initiative will pay workers $1,200 who discontinue taking unemployment benefits after completing four weeks of work. According to the state’s website, workers must be willing to take a job in any industry.
And under Oklahoma’s program, workers would also receive $1,200 after six weeks at a new job.
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How To Collect Extended Unemployment Benefits
How you will collect extended benefits will vary based on your state. In some states, you wont need to do anything. You will automatically be paid for the additional weeks. In others, you may need to apply.
- If you are currently collecting unemployment benefits:Benefits are provided through the state unemployment offices, and information on eligibility will be posted online. If you are eligible, you will be advised on how to collect when your regular unemployment benefits end.
- If you have exhausted unemployment benefits:Long-term unemployed workers who have already exhausted state unemployment benefits may also be eligible for additional weeks of benefits. Check with your state unemployment website for eligibility criteria in your location.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
Under the stimulus legislation enacted last year, people can get benefits for up to 79 weeks after their regular eligibility thanks to a program called Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation.
But in many cases, the transition from regular benefits to PEUC hasn’t been seamless, and many people appear to be missing out on money for which they are eligible.
“States are supposed to inform workers when they fall out of regular unemployment insurance that they are eligible for PEUC and give them information about how to apply, says Michele Evermore, former senior policy analyst at the National Employment Law Project who now works as a senior advisor on unemployment insurance for the U.S. Department of Labor. But from what I’m hearing, that’s not happening in every state. Unfortunately, during this pandemic, we’ve found that you have to be incredibly persistent to actually access the benefits you’re owed.”
Whether or not a state sends out notification, unemployed workers do have to apply to receive PEUC benefits. That means you should be proactive and make sure to complete whatever process your state requires, Evermore says. The PEUC application could be as simple as checking a box on paperwork you already have to complete regularly to continue to receive your usual weekly benefits. Or it could be an additional form you have to complete on your state’s unemployment website. Be sure to check with your state agency to find out what you need to do to receive PEUC.
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You Don’t Account For Taxes
Don’t forget that unemployment earnings count as taxable income, including the extra $600 per week provided by the stimulus bill. Federal income tax is withheld at a rate of 10%, and you may owe state taxes depending on where you live.
You can elect to either have withholdings taken out from the start of your benefit period, or you may be required to make quarterly estimated payments. Either way, make a plan for paying taxes on your unemployment benefit.
Ultimately, “Unemployment insurance is an earned benefit,” Evermore says. “People have an entitlement to it if they lose work through no fault of their own. People should see it that way and do everything they can to access their benefit.”
How To Extend Your Ui Benefits
If you applied for Unemployment Insurance at the beginning of the COVID-19 public health emergency , you have likely exhausted or are about to exhaust your benefits. UI is designed to last for 26 weeks, but fortunately, there are additional 13-week extensions currently available. The extension is not automatic, however. UI claimants will need to apply and fill out an application to receive extended support.
If you applied for Unemployment Insurance or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance earlier in the COVID-19 public health emergency, you may have exhausted or are about to exhaust your benefits. These extension are not automatic, however. You will need to apply and fill out an application to receive extended support.
UI lasts for 26 weeks and there are two 13-week extension programs and one 7-week extension program available: Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Extended Benefits . PUA lasts for 39 initial weeks and one 7-week extension is available for through the EB program.
Click here to download our Extended Benefits Fact Sheet on both programs.
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Are There Other Relief Programs Available
Enhanced unemployment benefits are no longer available, but there are other COVID-19 relief programs that you can lean on right now for help.
- Ask your mortgage lender about COVID-19 forbearance if you own a home and cant cover your mortgage payments. The deadline to apply is Sept. 30.
- If youre struggling to pay rent, start a dialogue with your landlord and check out these rent-relief resources. Some states are still offering utility assistance, too.
- Student loan payments and interest are on pause through Jan. 31. Take advantage of these upcoming months to save any money that typically goes toward your student loans.
- If youre struggling to cover the cost of child care, you may get assistance through local and state programs.
- If you cant afford groceries, you may be able to qualify for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program , which is commonly referred to as food stamps. There are also food assistance programs specific to children, women, and seniors.
- Talk to your credit card issuers and lenders to see if you can lower your interest rate, settle your debt, or qualify for any pandemic-related relief or forbearance programs.
- You may qualify to receive Child Tax Credit payments of up to $3,600 per eligible child. Theyre intended to help parents cover the costs of raising children, but there are no restrictions on what families can do with the money. If you qualify, our favorite personal finance experts who also happen to be parents shared six ways to best use the credit.
What If I Go Back To Work
- When you return to full-time work or want to stop requesting benefit payments for any reason, make your final request and then stop requesting. No notification is needed.
- If you start work at your new job in the middle of a week, report your hours worked and your earnings for the week, even if you haven’t been paid yet. You may be eligible to receive a partial benefit payment.
- Remember to report your hours worked and earnings for the week, even if you haven’t been paid yet.
- Make sure to keep your password and unemployment debit card in a safe place in case you need to start requesting benefits again.
- Keep the address on your account up-to-date for at least four years after your last request for a benefit payment. Even after you stop requesting benefits, your account may be audited or we may need to contact you for other reasons. If we can’t reach you, audit findings will be made without your input and you will be responsible for any overpayments that might result.
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