Since Congress was unable to come to an agreement, the jobless will no longer be able to apply for federal unemployment benefits or the COBRA health insurance subsidy. Due to the extreme economic circumstances, Congress offered additional unemployment benefits beyond what the states presented. The expiration of those benefits means more than 1 million unemployed will no longer receive benefits. If government continues to take no action, that number will soar to approximately 5 million by June, according to the National Unemployment Law Project. What can you do to survive until you get a new job?
Go to School
Granted, when you’re struggling to make ends meet and face the prospect of losing benefits, it may not seem intuitive to return to school. However, you need every possible advantage to shorten your time among the unemployed. In addition to job hunting and networking, attending a class or two will not only reduce your stress, but also increase your chances of finding a new job.
A great way to fill your days between job searching is to get out and volunteer. You’ll be able to help others, learn new skills, and meet new people, which could lead to a new opportunity. There is a tremendous number of people who are in need of help. Spending your time helping others will give you something else to focus on and make you feel better.
Start Your Own Business
The entrepreneurial spirit of individuals in this country is what makes it so amazing. Most of us have, at one time or another, dreamed of becoming our own boss. As bad as times are these days, there’s possibly no better time to venture out on your own. With nothing left to lose, some of the risk of starting your own business is eliminated.
I realize that as you’re trying to put food on the table and pay your bills, it can seem overwhelming to do anything beyond finding your next job. However, the greatest opportunities are often borne out of the most dire situations. There’s nothing you can do about expiring health benefits, but you can take action to improve your situation.