With economic downturns, day-to-day living has become tough for many, and finances are tighter than ever. People are being laid off work, gas prices are back on the rise and groceries are at some of their highest prices ever. How do people survive in an economy that is threatening financial wellness? With the help of government programs, there are ways to get financial assistance and stay afloat until times get better.
If you've recently been laid off from your job, the first thing you should do is to apply for unemployment compensation. Do this as soon as you know you're being laid off. Search the Internet for your state's unemployment compensation site. In most cases, you can apply online by following a series of easy steps. You will have to claim the weeks you are off of work biweekly, or two weeks at a time.
If the economy has you struggling to make ends meet and pay your bills on time, try applying for assistance with your utilities. LIHEAP is a federal program that offers energy and fuel assistance for individuals who qualify. Each state has different income guidelines. Search the Internet for "energy assistance" under your state.
Those who are laid off work become concerned with losing health insurance. With the economy in trouble, there has been much talk about help for the uninsured. Health insurance assistance is available to help bridge the gap when you've lost your job. Check out your local public assistance office for more information or search for "health insurance assistance" by state on the internet. Medicaid (medical assistance) is available for those that qualify.
Losing your job can be very difficult, and sometimes accepting help is a bit humbling, but it's important to realize you've worked hard for that assistance and deserve it in time of need. There is assistance available for purchasing food with an EBT card or cash assistance. You can check out the public assistance office in your area for more information. You can also check online by searching for your state's "public assistance office." Each state has its own set of income guidelines.
You can also check out your local food pantry for help with feeding your family. Food pantries, such as The Salvation Army, offer boxes of food weekly for those in need. There are also soup kitchens available that offer three meals a day to families who are suffering financial burdens. Check online by state for the food pantries and soup kitchens near you.
It's perfectly okay to accept the help you need when times are tough; talk to others who have been in your situation and find out what they do for assistance.
Single parents, especially, can get a lot of assistance, since their income levels are generally much lower than two-parent families.
Be sure to keep pay stubs, your driver's license, Social Security cards and any copies of monthly bills you pay because you'll need this information to get financial assistance.