How to prepare for the expiration of unemployment benefits

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Millions of unemployed people in 23 states will soon lose access to their weekly federal unemployment benefits of $ 300.

Under the American rescue plan passed in March, these benefits expire on September 6, but nearly half of U.S. states terminate access prematurely. As much as 3.8 million workers are expected to lose their assistance as of June 12.

On Tuesday, the following 23 states announced their intention to withdraw from the enhanced weekly unemployment benefit of $ 300:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Caroline from the south
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

Unemployed residents in states who opt out of the $ 300 federal benefit may still be eligible for state-issued unemployment benefits. And at least 22 states can replace unemployment benefits of $ 300 with cash bonuses of up to $ 2,000 for those returning to work.

Although the back-to-work bonus is intended to address a perceived labor shortage resulting from the pandemic, economists are still skeptical that cutting down to $ 1,200 a month in additional federal funding will help Americans get back on their feet.

If you live in a state that has (or could) reduce weekly unemployment benefits, it’s best to prepare and know your options when the extra income runs out. Visit your state’s labor department, in person or online, to see the latest information.

Once you know if your weekly unemployment benefits will expire – and when – you can start making decisions based on your needs.

How to prepare for the expiration of the $ 300 jobless allowance

Governors in charge of states that have pulled out of the program have done so because they say businesses in their states are struggling to find workers and weekly unemployment benefits discourage work.

But economists fear the early end of additional federal unemployment will impact those hardest hit by the recession, noting that $ 1,200 in additional benefits is not enough to keep people at home. Instead, they believe families are still struggling to cover child care costs and other costs associated with returning to work during our “new normal”.

If your unemployment benefits expire this month, here are some steps you can take to prepare.

Learn about your state’s return-to-work program

Most states that reduce federal unemployment offer a one-time premium for those who return to work. Bonuses range from around $ 500 to $ 2,000 – but they come with a few caveats. States may grant higher premiums for full-time work and also require you to stay at work for a minimum number of weeks before you can qualify for the bonus.

From Arizona Return to work program, for example, offers payments of $ 1,000 to unemployed people who accept part-time employment and $ 2,000 to those who accept full-time employment. However, the job must pay $ 25 an hour or less (equivalent to an annual salary of $ 52,000) for workers to qualify.

Meanwhile, New Hampshire Summer allowance program pays $ 500 to part-time employees and $ 1,000 to full-time employees, and workers must remain employed in the same location for 8 weeks.

Seek additional state aid

Some states may offer additional assistance for other costs associated with returning to work. Arizona, for example, will provide three months of child care assistance for eligible people earning $ 52,000 a year or less with children returning to work after being unemployed.

Another benefit that your state can offer is free access to job postings. Tennessee, for example, offers a database with more than 250,000 job offers. It’s not financial aid, but browsing through listings in your state can help get you started on your job search, which can often feel overwhelming when you don’t know where to start.

Find free training

Some states may give workers throughout the summer to qualify for the back-to-work bonus. To make your application more competitive, or just to give yourself a boost while looking for a side business, you can turn to free online training to hone your skills.

The State of Tennessee, through a partnership with Coursera, provides free online training for various industries. Users must register for a Jobs4TN account then email Coursera with their information to access professional courses and certifications in Email Marketing, Supply Chain, Project Management, Coding, Application Development, and more.

And if your state doesn’t offer free training opportunities, look on the Internet. Google offers courses through its Digital garage, some of which only take two hours.

Adjust your budget

It might go without saying, but if you lose unemployment benefits you should try to cut costs in any way you can without sacrificing your health and well-being. For many, $ 1,200 per month was not enough to cover every bill, but it may have been a buffer that helped you cut down on hours or time off. And, of course, for others, $ 1,200 barely reduced the rent and they can feel like they are struggling.

If you were expecting $ 1,200 per month from June to September, you may need to make up some way in your budget. Ask yourself how you will be doing without this money. Will it come from another source, such as a new job? Or can you cut costs enough to make up for the missing revenue? If you have any savings left from your stimulus check, add up how many months it will take before it runs out. If you can’t make it in September, see how much time you have left before you have to take money out of a job.

And while paying interest is undesirable, using a 0% APR credit card could give you up to 20 months (in some cases) to pay off the charges you incur today. . Having a good to excellent credit score increases the chances that you will qualify for the best interest-free cards. The most notable cards on our list include the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card, the Citi® Double Cash Card and the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card. Find out how 0% APR cards work.

Need help with budgeting?

Here are our top picks for the best free budgeting tools.

Google sheets

The information on Google Sheets was independently collected by Select and was not reviewed or provided by Google Sheets prior to posting.

  • Cost

  • Standout features

    Gmail account users can access a variety of free budgeting templates to get you started.

  • Categorize your expenses

    Users manually enter their expenses, but some budgeting templates offer predefined categories

  • Account links

    No, but some models offer third-party add-on software that automatically pulls financial transactions into Google Sheets

  • Availability

    Available on web browsers and smartphones

  • Security functions

    Google Server Protection: Unless you’ve shared your Google Spreadsheet with someone, no one can access your files without your Gmail account username and password. For this, Google offers two-factor authentication and physical security keys like YubiKey

Benefits

  • Free use with your Gmail account
  • Google Sheets can be accessed from anywhere via the mobile app
  • Templates help users navigate by budgeting
  • The hands-on approach forces users to really think through every transaction they make
  • Third-party add-on software available on some models to import your bank transaction data
  • Security features include Google server protection

The inconvenients

  • Requires users to manually enter transactions and other data, unless third-party add-on software is available with a template
  • Offers so many different budgeting models that it can be difficult to choose the best one for you

Search for concert work

Parents in particular are feeling the pressure, from a lack of childcare options to uncertainty over whether school will be away or in person next fall. Add to that the fact that the job search can take months at times, and it’s clear how hard it is to give up everything and find a full-time job right now.

So it might be wise to ease some of the pressure. There may be more flexible concert options in your area to save you time and money until your “dream job” comes true. You could do a TaskRabbit profile or offer your services on Thumbtack. Maybe you can offer group tutoring to school children in your area, walk dogs on Vagabond or check out your local Craigslist events page for gig workers needed for one-time engagements.

Sure, working in a gig might seem like a temporary fix, but it can save you time until your gig turns into a full-time business, or you’re ready to focus on finding a job. longer term.

At the end of the line

This has been a tough year for millions of Americans, and losing your $ 300 weekly federal unemployment benefit can seem like a big blow when you’re already down. It’s okay to find temporary solutions now, even if you don’t know exactly where you will end up. Take advantage of free resources, return-to-work benefits, full childcare assistance, and flexible work options as you make a plan for the future.

Editorial note: The opinions, analyzes, criticisms or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the editorial staff of Select and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise approved by any third party.

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