Making a financial plan starts with your income and if you lose your main source of income your finances will indefinitely be impacted. This can create a stressful situation unless you know what to do to maintain financial stability during rough times.
One of the first things to consider is checking to see if you are eligible for benefits such as unemployment, food assistance (SNAP),cash assistance for a family with children (TANF), and more that you can find doing some research while checking if you meet the requirements. Each state offers different rates for certain assistance programs based on your needs or life events.
Healthcare is important to have to maintain your health and provide financial assistance in case of an emergency that can be helpful if you don’t have an emergency fund. You can report your loss of income with the Healthcare Marketplace that will help with finding affordable insurance based on your financial situation and can also offer coverage if you’re eligible for a special enrollment period.
People with insurance benefits through their companies are liable for the lapse in coverage and can apply for insurance outside of the enrollment period if meeting the requirements for a special enrollment period. It’s recommended to file for benefits as soon as possible as you will be able to gain access to benefits sooner and will be able to complete the application process in a timely manner.
When applying for benefits, you should have all the information you need at the ready-to-complete applications and have the required paperwork ready. Most of the required documents include previous paystubs, first and last day of employment, employer’s information, the reason for leaving, pension information, and possible copies of communications with your manager for proof of employment.
After filing for assistance be prepared to wait, therefore it is important to file as soon as possible so you won’t be left without a financial safety net if you’ve yet to start receiving your benefits. As you wait for assistance from benefits, set your financial priorities like making sure you have a place to live, you’ll have enough money for groceries, money for medical finances like medication, covering your utility bills, and having money for gas.
To ensure you’re not spending outside of your financial means, you should make a budget. There are many ways to plan a budget and you should research methods to find the right one to help your situation.
Plan your budget around benefits you’ll be receiving, severance compensation, and possible savings. You should go through your bills to see which ones you can pay and the others that you can call to negotiate a plan to fit around your budget while letting them know you’re experiencing financial hardship.
You might feel some shame with being in a bad financial situation, but you can reach out to family and friends for additional resources. Feeling shamed talking about financial problems is more common than you think, and you should spend some time to self-realize that this problem isn’t your fault.