What’s Next When You Lose Your Job Because of COVID-19?
A Guide to Unemployment Benefits and Strategic Living During Unemployment
Apply for unemployment benefits.
Even if you’re not sure that you qualify – many restrictions have been lifted.
*Log on to https://miwam.unemployment.state.mi.us/ClmMiWAM/_/ to apply online.
*To apply by phone, call 1-866-500-0017
*Consider having taxes taken out of your benefit check, as this benefit is considered income and is taxable.
Prioritize your bills.
*Although there may be protections against foreclosure or eviction, make every effort to stay current on your rent or mortgage. If you miss payments during this, you may incur additional fees, or be required to make higher rent payments after you return to work. You will have to pay the rent/mortgage payment when this situation is over.
*Pay as much as you can toward your utilities. Yes, many areas are suspending shut offs, but you will still owe the money after this event.
*Reduce bills where you can. If you will not be driving, you may be able to reduce your insurance to storage or low mileage options, you may be able to suspend cable or entertainment packages, etc. If you have questions or need help prioritizing, call Love INC: 616-662-3300.
*Reach out to all of your lenders to let them know you are out of work. The more they know, the higher the chance they will work with you. Make sure you tell them you are laid off due to COVID19.
Look for temporary or part-time jobs.
*Even a part-time job will pay more than unemployment.
*Grocery stores, gas stations, and delivery services are still in operation and looking for help.
*This will decrease your unemployment benefit check amount; however, you will more than likely have more income if you are able to work during this event as unemployment is a fraction of normal “take-home” pay.
Use available resources for food and other necessities.
* Schools are distributing meals to families in their districts.
*Love INC has three emergency food distribution sites in local churches. Visit loveinthenameofchrist.org for more information.
*Call Love INC and/or 211 to find resources available to your family in your area.
Pay attention to your emotional health.
Dealing with the stresses of being unemployed and dealing with a national health crisis is hard and will be hard on your emotional and mental health. Reach out via phone, FaceTime, text or other technology and talk to those in your life who are alone right now –or if you need to talk to someone. Take care of yourself, and practice patience with others. If you find this overwhelming, you are not alone. Reach out for help:
*Contact CMH in Ottawa County: (616) 393-5698
*Contact Network 180: (616) 336-3765