job loss http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/10423/all en-US Is Your Emergency Fund Costing You Money? http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-emergency-fund-costing-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/is-your-emergency-fund-costing-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/emergency_fund_000051326450.jpg" alt="Find out if your emergency fund is too big" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all know that an emergency fund is an essential tool in personal money management. And even newbies to personal finance can probably tell you how big an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-emergency-fund-big-enough-to-keep-you-afloat">emergency fund</a> should be &mdash; large enough to cover about three to six months of expenses.</p> <p>But what if that rule of thumb is incorrect? If you have an emergency fund that is larger than you need, it could be costing you.</p> <p>Here is what you need to know about figuring out the emergency fund sweet spot for your budget, and why it matters so much.</p> <h2>1. What Constitutes an Emergency?</h2> <p>The typical advice for creating an emergency fund assumes that you would need this fund in case of job loss. That's why the recommendation is to have several months of living expenses set aside, and why Suze Orman in particular suggests that you need <a href="http://www.suzeorman.com/resource-center/suze-orman-money-tips-video-collection/what-ifs-of-life/">eight month's expenses</a>, since an average period of unemployment lasts about 32 weeks.</p> <p>But generally, people who access their emergency fund need the money for an unexpected one-time expense, such as a car repair or medical emergency. This is a far cry from the kind of ongoing emergency you would be facing after a job loss &mdash; and you have much more leeway to handle such a gradual emergency creatively.</p> <p>That's why it's a smart strategy to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-family-lives-well-and-even-owns-a-home-on-just-11-an-hour">create a Plan B budget</a> that you could institute in case you lose your job. If you know ahead of time what specific budget items could be struck from your monthly expenses, a smaller emergency fund could handle unemployment much longer than the typical advice would have you believe.</p> <p>In addition, having a Plan B budget gives you options when there is a small financial setback &mdash; such has having to take a pay cut, for instance &mdash; without you having to dip into the emergency fund.</p> <p>It's also unlikely that a job loss emergency will mean you are completely without a paycheck for several months. You might be able to find temporary or freelance work or draw some unemployment benefits, while also seriously reducing some of your expenses.</p> <h2>2. Expecting the Unexpected</h2> <p>So you know that you don't need a large emergency fund in case of a job loss. What about those unexpected one-time expenses? It's not possible to know exactly when your refrigerator will give up the ghost, or when you will need expensive dental surgery.</p> <p>Except that it is possible to plan ahead for most unexpected expenses. According to a 2007 survey by the Pew Research Center, 34% of people <a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/files/2010/10/Saving.pdf">experienced unexpected expenses</a> in the previous year. These were the kinds of unexpected costs they faced:</p> <ul> <li>34% had medical expenses,</li> <li>24% had car expenses,</li> <li>20% had home and housing expenses,</li> <li>9% had life event and child expenses, and</li> <li>The remaining expenses were comprised of work, travel and vacation-related, pets, and taxes.</li> </ul> <p>Each of these types of &quot;unpredictable&quot; expenses is actually fairly inevitable. No matter how healthy you are, it's likely that you will need some sort of medical care eventually. If you own a car or a home, you need to maintain it. Though you might not know when to expect a birth, a death, or a wedding, you do know that they will happen.</p> <p>So instead of treating these sorts of situations as emergencies, it makes more sense to create a targeted budget category for any expense that might otherwise take you by surprise. For instance, you might create a car repair budget category into which you put aside $100 per month. Then when you have an &quot;unexpected&quot; repair, you will have money already set aside for that purpose.</p> <h2>3. The Cost of a Big Emergency Fund</h2> <p>Just because it's unlikely that you will need six months' worth of expenses set aside, and your unexpected emergencies can be mitigated with targeted budget categories, what's the harm in keeping a large emergency fund? It can feel good to have the security of a lot of cash on hand.</p> <p>Unfortunately, there is a major cost for that sense of security: inflation.</p> <p>The cost of inflation averages about 3% per year. Even the best high-yield savings accounts currently offer an annual interest rate of 1% or less. That means inflation is eating 2% of your emergency fund with every year that passes &mdash; and inflation, like interest, compounds. For instance, if you have $15,000 in a savings account with a 1% APR and 3% inflation, your money will only be worth $10,133.84 of today's dollars in twenty years. (If you would like to check my math, this is the <a href="http://www.moneychimp.com/articles/econ/inflation_calculator.htm">inflation calculator</a> I used.)</p> <p>If you never experience a job loss and use targeted budgeting categories, it is very possible that you might not need to use your $15,000 savings account at any point during those twenty years. You could have done something much better with that money.</p> <h2>4. Emergency Fund Best Practices</h2> <p>It makes sense to always keep some money in a savings account so you can access the funds quickly, just in case. But above a certain emergency fund ceiling, a smart move is to invest extra cash that would otherwise collect dust in your emergency fund. In particular, parking that money in a low-fee mutual fund can help you grow your money, while still keeping the funds available in the event of that mythical job loss.</p> <p>The question is, where should you place the ceiling for your savings account emergency fund?</p> <p>It all depends on what amount of money on hand helps you sleep at night and how much you otherwise have invested. If you get twitchy without a fat savings account, and you have a good handle on your retirement and other investment accounts, there's nothing wrong with having a large emergency fund.</p> <p>If on the other hand you still haven't set up your 401(k) at work (but are otherwise not in severe financial distress), then it makes more sense to keep your emergency fund ceiling relatively low while you work on building up your investments.</p> <p>It's also important to note that contributions to your emergency fund should be a consistent line item in your monthly budget. Staying in the habit of always putting that money away will help you to replenish the fund after an emergency, and give you another monthly amount of investable money once you reach your emergency fund savings goal.</p> <h2>Too Much of a Good Thing</h2> <p>Saving too much is generally not the biggest problem among American workers. But those who do work to protect themselves financially might be taking their good habits a little too far when it comes to their emergency funds.</p> <p>Maintaining the right size emergency fund may require a little more work on your part &mdash; from figuring out a Plan B budget to anticipating surprise expenses to figuring out how to make your money grow &mdash; but that extra work will more than pay off in your sense of financial security.</p> <p><em>How big is your emergency fund?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-emergency-fund-costing-you-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/managing-your-short-term-money">Managing Your Short-Term Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-use-savings-to-pay-off-debt">When to Use Savings to Pay Off Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-life-is-amazing-with-an-emergency-fund">11 Ways Life Is Amazing With an Emergency Fund</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-adjustments-you-should-make-mid-year">12 Money Adjustments You Should Make Mid-Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-biggest-financial-decisions-in-your-20s">The 6 Biggest Financial Decisions in Your 20s</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance emergency fund job loss savings unemployment Fri, 03 Jul 2015 11:00:26 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1471157 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Reasons You Deserve to Get Fired http://www.wisebread.com/12-reasons-you-deserve-to-get-fired <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-reasons-you-deserve-to-get-fired" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fired-businesswoman-78749363-small.jpg" alt="fired businesswoman" title="fired businesswoman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The recession might be over, but that doesn't mean any of us can afford to be passive about holding onto our jobs. If you think you may soon be having an uncomfortable conversation with HR, it's time to find out why. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/job-hunting-tips-for-the-recently-fired-and-some-for-the-rest-of-us-too?ref=seealso">Job Hunting Tips for the Recently Fired</a>)</p> <p>Here are 12 reasons you're getting fired.</p> <h2>1. Social Media SNAFU</h2> <p>Venting about your employer, boss, or co-workers on Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media site can get you fired. Avoid other career-killing <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/206359/6_Facebook_Twitter_Mistakes_That_Can_Get_You_Fired.html">social media mistakes</a> and remember &mdash; six degrees of separation is about one and a half degrees online.</p> <h2>2. Refusing to Play the Game</h2> <p>I don't know what the game is where you work, but I know there is one &mdash; and I bet there are a lot of folks playing their hearts out. The game usually involves demonstrating your passion for the work, coming in early and staying late, and working to impress the right people without falling all over yourself. Call me cynical and old-fashioned, but if you haven't learned how to play the game, you haven't really learned how to stay employed.</p> <h2>3. Not Giving Your All</h2> <p>Those cheesy motivational posters are wrong; it's impossible to give 110%. But consistently settling for 70% is a bad strategy if want to duck and weave past a pink slip. Doing a bit more than required, volunteering for a committee or two, and diplomatically making recommendations for process improvements adds value to what you do and can help secure your employment long-term</p> <h2>4. Clicking on Caps Lock</h2> <p>TYPING IN ALL CAPS READS LIKE YOU'RE SHOUTING and shows a fundamental lack of professional etiquette and insight. It may be trivial, but people get fired for trivial things every day. Cut it out.</p> <h2>5. Skipping the Finer Points of Good Etiquette</h2> <p>Good business etiquette is both valuable and rare, especially if your job involves direct work with clients or partners. Not grasping the finer points of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/reclaiming-etiquette-dining-basics-for-young-professionals">dining</a>, interview, or meeting etiquette can jeopardize business relationships, flag you as inexperienced, and kill a career.</p> <h2>6. Making Yourself Non-Essential</h2> <p>If you're not actively looking for new ways to add value to the company you work for, you may be inadvertently planting the seeds for your own dismissal when there's a hiccup in the market. Besides being first-rate at your job, look for those tasks that no one else wants to do and position yourself as the go-to person for each.</p> <h2>7. Mixing Your Personal and Professional Life</h2> <p>When it comes to job security, it's good policy to save the drama for your mama. Allowing personal issues to consistently affect your work erodes your professional image and can make letting you go as easy as switching off a bad reality show.</p> <h2>8. Getting Embroiled in Office Politics</h2> <p>Some work environments can be as political as a swing state in late October. Diving in headfirst and picking sides gives you a 50% of being right and a 100% chance of showing how easily distracted you are. Learn how to <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Ways-Beat-Office-Politics-1108688">beat office politics</a> and still get ahead.</p> <h2>9. Snoozing or Boozing</h2> <p>No surprises here. Sneaking a nap or a nip at work is usually an epically bad idea. And with office holiday parties coming up, sticking to a moderate personal drink limit will help you avoid those regretful lampshade-on-the-head moments that leave you red-faced Monday morning.</p> <h2>10. Stealing</h2> <p>Hey, Sticky Fingers, it may feel like a fringe benefit, but few companies see it that way. If you're tempted to pocket random goodies from your employer, it may be a sign that you feel stuck or that you're not being fairly compensated. Be proactive about both issues or move on.</p> <h2>11. Sleeping In</h2> <p>Who hasn't woken up feeling like a sack of wet concrete? These are the moments when we suddenly tap deep reserves of creativity to craft the most elaborate excuses for being late or taking a half-day. But as our inner storytellers dream, our careers can get creamed. Wake up, slam a double espresso, and defend your professional turf.</p> <h2>12. Playing Hooky</h2> <p>It might not have been a big deal in sixth grade, but playing hooky in your professional life can have lasting consequences. Don't assume (cough, cough) taking sick days when you're feeling great, ducking out early, or adding 15 minutes to your lunch hour is going unnoticed.</p> <p>If you're guilty of multiple axe-worthy offenses, it might be time to hope for the best and prepare for the worst by keeping an eye out for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-re-fired-20-signs-that-a-pink-slip-is-coming">signs you're about to get fired</a>. If you make the cut, wipe the sweat from your brow and let 2015 be the year you turn over a new leaf. Like much of life, our professional lives can be reinvented with focus, discipline, and the right motivation.</p> <p><em>Have you ever been fired? Did the experience change how you approached your next job? Share your favorite stories below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-reasons-you-deserve-to-get-fired">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-laid-off-a-step-by-step-guide">How to Get Laid Off: A Step-By-Step Guide</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-re-fired-20-signs-that-a-pink-slip-is-coming">You’re Fired! 20 Signs That a Pink Slip is Coming</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/starting-a-new-job-3-rules-to-live-by">Starting a New Job: 3 Rules to Live By</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-to-do-on-your-first-day-at-a-new-job">6 Things to Do on Your First Day at a New Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-discover-your-dream-career">5 Ways to Discover Your Dream Career</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building fired job hunt job loss new job pink slip Wed, 03 Dec 2014 11:00:09 +0000 Kentin Waits 1262734 at http://www.wisebread.com The First 5 Things You Must Do After Getting Laid Off http://www.wisebread.com/the-first-5-things-you-must-do-after-getting-laid-off <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-first-5-things-you-must-do-after-getting-laid-off" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businesswoman-unemployed-81387778-small.jpg" alt="unemployed businesswoman" title="unemployed businesswoman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A few weeks ago, I was laid off for the very first time.</p> <p>I managed to stay calm and do everything I needed to do to make sure I wouldn't end up on the streets in a month. I think it was the shock, but whatever the reason, it taught me that I am stronger than I realized and that I have a tremendous support system. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/job-hunting-tips-for-the-recently-fired-and-some-for-the-rest-of-us-too?ref=seealso">Job Hunting Tips for the Recently Fired</a>)</p> <p>These are the five things I learned to do and to keep in mind if you lose a job.</p> <h2>1. Don't Panic</h2> <p>Yes, this seems obvious. However, it is something I told myself from the minute I started cleaning out my desk. And it helped tremendously. For many people, panic can be crippling. Sometimes when I get overwhelmed, I become paralyzed and don't take care of the basic tasks I need to do to get myself through a crisis. Neglecting basic needs can affect your overall health and ability to keep moving.</p> <p>When you are in a state of panic, you are also more likely to make poor decisions. Most psychologists will tell you that after any loss, it is important not to make big decisions. Before you sell your house or relocate, give yourself some time to find another job. You may find a job that pays more than the one you lost. It's also important to understand what an actual panic attack looks like and <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/anxiety-help/201109/panic-attacks-what-they-are-and-how-stop-them-0">what to do when you are having a panic attack</a>. Just keep telling yourself, &quot;Don't Panic.&quot; You will be surprised at how much this simple statement will help you get through this time and land on your feet again.</p> <h2>2. Apply for Unemployment and Contact Creditors ASAP</h2> <p>After giving myself time to process everything and take a deep breath, I applied for unemployment benefits the day after I was laid off. This is important to do as soon as you can because it can take weeks for you to get your benefits if you qualify. Also, be sure to check for benefits that you might need immediately, such as health insurance. I called my state's Medicaid office right after I called the unemployment office, and I asked them to expedite the process because I needed a refill for an expensive medication in just a few days. They were very sympathetic and moved the process along quickly. Many people are understanding if you just explain the situation.</p> <p>Additionally, if you have any outstanding bills, such as student loans or utilities, call to see if they will work with you until you get your unemployment benefits. Most companies are willing to do this, and if you have student loans, you can get a temporary forbearance until your unemployment starts, at which time you should be able to defer them. Your unemployment office should offer several services that can help you navigate the free resources that are available to you.</p> <h2>3. Reach Out to People for Support</h2> <p>While I was fairly good about making sure I filled out all the paperwork and made all the necessary phone calls after I lost my job, it all hit me at once a few days after it happened. That's when I knew I needed to call my former therapist to make an appointment. I also called my friends, not only for moral support, but also to see if they could get together for coffee or just to hang out. I knew that I didn't need to be in my apartment alone.</p> <p>You can also find <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/25/us/25support.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=0">job loss support groups</a>. Ask your local unemployment office, or try social media. I found a few of these support groups on LinkedIn. Whatever your method, it's important to get your support system in place early on so that you have someone to turn to if you do start to panic.</p> <h2>4. Don't Burn Bridges</h2> <p>Make sure you follow up with any loose ends from your job, such as transferring health or life insurance policies. If you get fired, don't cause a scene. I've seen other co-workers get fired, and a few of them caused such a scene that the HR person had to hover over their desks as they were packing up. Luckily, my situation was different, and they at least let me leave with dignity.</p> <p>But I also called my former manager a few days after I had time to process to tell him that I didn't have any hard feelings and to also ask if he would be a reference. Most importantly, don't put anything out there on social media that would hurt your chances of finding another job. I've seen friends post long, angry diatribes about their former employers, which I encouraged them to remove. Harboring anger is not helping your emotional state, nor will it help you land a new job.</p> <h2>5. Be Gentle With Yourself</h2> <p>During a crisis like this one, blaming yourself will not help; it will only make it worse. Try to take the judgement out of any of your actions, unless you are praising yourself for applying for another job or giving yourself a break. Give yourself some breathing room.</p> <p>Sherrie Bourg Carter, Psy.D offers some useful advice along these lines. Her first suggestion is to <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/high-octane-women/201102/managing-job-loss">take time to recover</a>, but she also argues that part of the recovery process is to focus on what you can control rather than dwelling on what you cannot control. For instance, you cannot control what has already happened, so worrying about getting fired is living in the past, which will only bring you down. Worrying about finding another job can also hold you back. Spend that energy on making your resume stronger and finding the right job.</p> <p>Immediately after I got the news, I called one of my most practical friends, who reminded me that I could do all the necessary steps the next day and that I should just give myself the afternoon to call loved ones and process what just happened. This was sage advice, because I was in no state to take care of business. But the occasional gentle reminder to be kind to yourself and focus on what you can control throughout this process will make a huge difference in your ability to function and figure out the next steps.</p> <p><em>Have you ever been laid off from a job? How did you cope?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-watson">Ashley Watson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-first-5-things-you-must-do-after-getting-laid-off">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-unemployment-insurance">Everything You Need to Know About Unemployment Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-worst-things-good-employees-do">The 8 Worst Things Good Employees Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-things-you-need-to-survive-a-job-loss">The 5 Things You Need to Survive a Job Loss</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-should-quit-your-job">8 Signs You Should Quit Your Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laid-off-make-sure-you-get-your-unemployment">Laid Off? You May Have to Fight for Unemployment Benefits</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income fired job loss layoff unemployment Fri, 29 Aug 2014 15:00:04 +0000 Ashley Watson 1197958 at http://www.wisebread.com Everything You Need to Know About Unemployment Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-unemployment-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/everything-you-need-to-know-about-unemployment-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/job-loss-478634205.jpg" alt="job loss" title="job loss" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="176" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most of us don't think about the possibility of losing our jobs at a moment's notice. However, that is exactly what happens to thousands of people every day across the United States. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-things-you-need-to-survive-a-job-loss?ref=seealso">What You Need to Survive a Job Loss</a>)</p> <p>If the unthinkable happens to you, it is important to know where to turn for unemployment help. From locating the correct agency to applying for financial assistance to receiving your funds, read on to discover everything you need to know about unemployment.</p> <h2>Who to Contact</h2> <p>The United States Department of Labor (DOL) oversees unemployment assistance for the entire country. Each state has an agency that determines eligibility, administers compensation, and offers training to get displaced employees back into the workforce.</p> <p>Each state calls the agency something different. To find the agency for your state, use this <a href="http://www.servicelocator.org/OWSLinks.asp">locator map from the DOL</a>. This map will link you up with where to file, check on, and answer questions about your unemployment claim.</p> <h2>Determine Eligibility</h2> <p>Unemployment compensation is provided to employees who have lost their jobs due to something outside of their control. This means the employee could not quit their job without a serious reason (such as a medical condition, harassment at the workplace, or workplace violence) and could not be fired for something they did on the job, like stealing from their employer. Each state determines guidelines for eligibility. Contact your state agency for those rules and regulations.</p> <p>Everyone who files for unemployment must have been employed for a certain length of time prior to filing and earned a certain amount of money. For example, in the state of Colorado, the employee must have earned at least $2,500 during a period of 12 months prior to filing a claim.</p> <p>Another portion of the eligibility for unemployment compensation is your ability and desire to find future employment. You must be actively seeking employment or receiving training towards future employment if financial compensation is going to be received. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/job-hunting-tips-for-the-recently-fired-and-some-for-the-rest-of-us-too?ref=seealso">Job Hunting Tips for the Recently Fired</a>)</p> <h2>Filing a Claim</h2> <p>You can begin the application process for unemployment immediately after the loss of your job. In some states, you can file online, over the phone, or by using a mobile app. When you do file, be sure to have information about your employer and your employment history available. You will be asked questions about who your employer was as well as the address and phone number for them. You will need to provide dates for when your employment began and when it ended. Also, be prepared to provide information about your income while you were employed.</p> <p>After filing your claim, it can take two or three weeks before payment is received. Some states require a waiting period of one week before money is issued.</p> <h2>Remaining Eligible</h2> <p>In order to remain eligible for unemployment, you must continue to file the status of your claim with the agency. Every state has set this up differently. You may need to provide an update every week or two weeks. You will be required to answer questions about the process you are going through to find new employment. Some states may require lists of employers who have your resume, some may require you to register with employment agencies, and some may require you to come into their office a certain number of hours each week to conduct your job search.</p> <p>To remain eligible, it is important that you update your status on the day that it is required. Failing to do so can mean a disruption or cancellation of your benefits. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-thriving-in-long-term-unemployment?ref=seealso">Thriving in Long-Term Unemployment</a>)</p> <h2>Receiving Benefits</h2> <p>Unemployment benefits can be financial payments, insurance, and job training. Each state will determine which you need. If your spouse has insurance that is available to you, then the state will not provide you with unemployment insurance. If you are already highly-skilled, job training may not be available but other resources like resume building and interviewing skills can be an option. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-interview-technique-will-get-you-hired?ref=seealso">This Interview Technique Will Get You Hired</a>)</p> <p>Financial benefits can be in the form of a check, but most states have moved to automatic deposits into a state-controlled debit account. The amount is based on a percentage of your previous year's income and can not go over the state's maximum. Compensation is available for a maximum of 26 weeks unless it is during a time of high unemployment, in which case <a href="http://www.workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/unemploy/extenben.asp">extended benefits</a> are available. Money received is considered taxable income and will need to be claimed on your yearly income taxes.</p> <p>If you have filed a claim for unemployment benefits and were denied, you do have the right to file an appeal. Appeals can be filed with the same agency that you filed your initial claim with and should be done as soon as possible.</p> <p>Whether you are anticipating a layoff months in advance or you find yourself without a job very suddenly, the process of applying for unemployment benefits can feel daunting. However, filing a claim need not be a painful experience. Arm yourself with all the information on your employment and these tips beforehand to ensure the process is as smooth as possible.</p> <p><em>Have you ever made a claim for unemployment benefits? What was the process like for you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-unemployment-insurance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laid-off-make-sure-you-get-your-unemployment">Laid Off? You May Have to Fight for Unemployment Benefits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-first-5-things-you-must-do-after-getting-laid-off">The First 5 Things You Must Do After Getting Laid Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-emergency-fund-costing-you-money">Is Your Emergency Fund Costing You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-work-at-home-without-driving-your-spouse-nuts">How to Work at Home Without Driving Your Spouse Nuts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-write-a-resume-12-steps-to-your-next-job">How To Write A Resume: 12 Steps To Your Next Job</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Life Hacks job loss unemployment unemployment benefits Wed, 30 Apr 2014 08:00:22 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1137341 at http://www.wisebread.com Job Hunting Tips for the Recently Fired (and Some for the Rest of Us, Too) http://www.wisebread.com/job-hunting-tips-for-the-recently-fired-and-some-for-the-rest-of-us-too <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/job-hunting-tips-for-the-recently-fired-and-some-for-the-rest-of-us-too" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fired-5321265-small.jpg" alt="fired" title="fired" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Job hunting after you've been fired can be an intimidating task, especially in a tight job market. It may not be a cakewalk, but there are ways to make getting your first post-termination job a bit easier. And once you've cleared that hurdle, the impact a firing has on future job searches decreases. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tax-deductions-job-hunters-can-t-afford-to-overlook?ref=seealso">6 Tax Deductions for Job Hunters</a>)</p> <h2>Get Your Emotions in Check</h2> <p>Getting fired is one of the most distressing things a person can go through. The uncertainty of sudden unemployment coupled with the humbling experience of being dismissed instead of leaving by choice can cause anger, feelings of inadequacy, anxiety about your future, and an overall depressed mood. These reactions are completely normal, but they're also unhelpful.</p> <p>To get yourself back where you need to be, focus on positives instead of negatives. Think about your strengths and what you can contribute to an organization. Forgive yourself for any failures and make a conscious decision to move on. If you make peace with the situation, feel confident about what you have to offer, and adopt the view that you've only experienced a minor setback, getting back out into the working world will be a whole lot easier. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lose-your-job-without-losing-your-identity?ref=seealso">Lose Your Job Without Losing Your Identity</a>)</p> <h2>Reassess Your Situation</h2> <p>Once you've dealt with the emotional side of the situation, you've got to get analytical. Think about what went wrong, why, and how you can stop it from happening again. Next, ask yourself some important questions:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Where do you really excel?</p> </li> <li> <p>Which areas of your expertise do you need to build?</p> </li> <li> <p>Are you utilizing your skills and knowledge in a way that was satisfying to you? If not, what would you rather be doing?</p> </li> </ul> <p>Getting fired can be the push you need to break into a new area of your field or start a new career altogether, so as you're evaluating your strengths, weaknesses, and goals, think about how they would fit into new positions or industries. Don't be afraid to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-secrets-of-long-distance-job-hunting">look into other locales for new opportunities</a>.</p> <h2>Take Immediate Action</h2> <p>Getting fired is one of the worst times to take an extended break from working. A hole in your employment already sends up red flags to prospective employers. Revealing that you were in fact fired before that gap could lead them to believe you have even more serious issues. Plus, the longer you go without making progress, the more those negative emotions you're trying to control start to fester.</p> <p>Start your job hunt as soon as possible. The same day you receive your walking papers is a perfect time to begin, but you can take a few days to get your emotions together if you need it. If your search starts getting lengthy, say more than a couple of months, you may want to look into freelance and volunteer work or enrolling in job-related courses to fill the hole. You'll look better to employers if you've been keeping busy since you were laid off. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-work-experience-without-having-a-job?ref=seealso">Getting Work Experience Without a Job</a>)</p> <h2>Optimize Your References</h2> <p>You'll need extra good references to take the sting out of the nature of your previous departure. References from pre-firing employers are good, but references from the job you were let go from are even better. Fellow employees should be able to substantiate the explanation you gave about your parting as well as tell potential employers about your positive contributions.</p> <p>The absolute best reference is one from your former managers or other higher-ups. The viability of this option depends on the reason you were fired and how well you performed before things went south, but having a positive reference even after you've been fired can make a huge difference. To maximize your chances, you could try sending a post-termination letter admitting any wrongdoing, and thanking the employer for the opportunity and learning experience. Even if you messed up bad, this bit of mea culpa can sway your old boss toward giving you a good &mdash; or at least better &mdash; reference. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-great-job-references?ref=seealso">How to Get Great Job References</a>)</p> <h2>Describe Your Job-Hunting Activities Wisely</h2> <p>The way you present your circumstances can have a big impact in your job search. Using a statement such as &quot;Actively pursuing new opportunities&quot; in your cover letter and online job networking profiles lets employers know you're available without disclosing exactly why. If you're taking a new career path, Deborah Jacobs of Forbes Magazine recommends a statement such as &quot;Currently seeking to leverage my Equity Floor experience and education into Investor Relations.&quot; This kind of phrasing works well when you're discussing your job status during interviews, too. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-great-job-references?ref=seealso">How to Make a Good Impression at Your Job Interview</a>)</p> <h2>Be Upfront, but Not Too Upfront</h2> <p>You definitely don't want to make any mention of your firing on your resume, cover letter, or online networking profiles. However, you also don't want to wait so long that the employer finds out on their own while checking references. The best time to broach the subject is during the interview. Wait until you're asked to describe your previous job or why you left your former position, and then give your explanation.</p> <p>In the event that you really messed up and don't want future employers to know about the job at all, you could simply leave it off of your resume and avoid bringing it up during interviews. This works better if doesn't have much relevance to the position you are seeking or if you were only there for a short time, but you may still be able to pull it off if you have other career-related activities to fill in the blank. Keep in mind that this will not work for people who are applying for jobs that require background checks or complete disclosure of all previous positions, such as in government, financial, and legal work.</p> <h2>Prepare Your Explanation</h2> <p>You'll need to formulate a statement that gives potential employers the facts surrounding your firing without injecting resentment, blame, or other negative emotions into the story. Even if you feel that your termination was unjustified, you need to avoid bad-mouthing your old boss or coming across as defensive. Interviewers only need to know what happened, why it happened, if there was anything you could have done differently, and what you've gained from the experience. Most importantly, you have to come up with a reason the mistake won't happen again. Above all, do not lie. There's a chance a potential employer will learn the real story eventually, especially if the job is within the same industry, and being dishonest is the surest way to disqualify yourself from a job.</p> <p>Planning out what you'll say makes it easier to be upfront about the situation, but discussing these kinds of stressful subjects can still make you uncomfortable. Even when you're telling the truth, anxiety can cause you to stutter, avoid eye contact, perspire, and flush red&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13px;">&mdash;</span><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">&nbsp;all tell-tale signs of lying. To avoid raising an interviewer's suspicions unnecessarily, practice your explanation in front of the mirror or with another person, until it sounds natural and authentic. (See also: </span><a style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;" href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-body-language-mistakes-that-sabotage-most-interviews?ref=seealso">Body Language Mistakes That Sabotage Interview</a><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">s)</span></p> <h2>Word Your Departure Carefully</h2> <p>Even if the truth seems pretty bad, there are ways of making it come across better. Avoid use of the word &quot;fired,&quot; because that particular expression carries a stigma that interviewers may find hard to overlook. Using phrases such as &quot;I was let go&quot; or &quot;My employment was terminated&quot; tones down the inherent harshness of the situation. Pairing your big reveal with an aptly-worded statement can then shift the focus from the negative subject of your discharge to the positive subject of what you can contribute to the company. Something like, &quot;My limited sales skills simply couldn't keep up with the fast-paced production required by my previous employer and I was let go. However, I believe my graphic design skills will be well-applied in this position as an advertising assistant.&quot;</p> <h2>Tell Them What You Did Right</h2> <p>Referencing situations in which you excelled at your previous job assures potential employers that you weren't just flailing around Mr. Bean-style, leaving confusion and calamity in your wake. Highlight your successes, such as the number of new accounts you brought in or the projects you completed. If you were better at one aspect of your job than another, put emphasis on the duties you did well. Have your references mention these things as well to support your description.</p> <h2>Show What You've Learned</h2> <p>One of the most effective ways to decrease the impact being fired has on your job hunt is to demonstrate that you've addressed the issues that lead to your firing. If the problem was a lack of knowledge, tell interviewers about the steps you took to fill gaps in your expertise, such as engaging in self-study or enrolling in continuing education courses. If the problem was due to interpersonal issues, explain how you've learned to work with a greater variety of personalities and viewpoints and now have the ability to handle similar situations better. No matter what the reason, the key is to describe how the knowledge you gained will help you be successful in the position you're applying for.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>Have you ever been fired from a job? How did you get hired afterward?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lauren-treadwell">Lauren Treadwell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/job-hunting-tips-for-the-recently-fired-and-some-for-the-rest-of-us-too">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-hard-truths-about-getting-hired-that-you-dont-want-to-believe">10 Hard Truths About Getting Hired That You Don&#039;t Want to Believe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-first-5-things-you-must-do-after-getting-laid-off">The First 5 Things You Must Do After Getting Laid Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fired-heres-how-to-keep-it-from-hurting-your-career">Fired? Here&#039;s How to Keep It From Hurting Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-reasons-you-deserve-to-get-fired">12 Reasons You Deserve to Get Fired</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-common-job-hunt-tips-you-should-ignore">8 Common Job-Hunt Tips You Should Ignore</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting fired job hunting job loss Fri, 14 Mar 2014 10:36:24 +0000 Lauren Treadwell 1127919 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Things You Need to Survive a Job Loss http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-things-you-need-to-survive-a-job-loss <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-things-you-need-to-survive-a-job-loss" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/stress-1128522-small.jpg" alt="stressed man" title="stressed man" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Losing a job can be one of the most challenging struggles a person can face in this &mdash; or any &mdash; economy. Many people feel lost and unprepared for such an abrupt change in their lives, but it doesn&#39;t have to be that way. Having a thorough plan can help you deal not only financially, but mentally, too. Here are some things you need to have ready in case of an upheaval in your professional life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lost-my-job-tips-for-the-recently-laid-off?ref=seealso">Help! I Lost My Job!</a>)</p> <h2>1. Savings</h2> <p>The general rule of thumb is to be sure you have three months of savings ready to go at all times in case of job loss or other emergencies. However, this number is not set in stone, and in the new economy, many advisors suggest that saving as much as a <em>year&#39;s</em> worth of expenses is the best route to go. Check this guide to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/figuring-the-size-of-your-emergency-fund">calculate what you need</a>. Deciding how much savings to keep depends on a number of factors, such as the demand for your skills in the marketplace, your budget and expenses, and other sources of household income (such as from a partner or spouse).</p> <p>Begin saving bit by bit, putting your money in a place that is hard to access, like an online-based account. There are many online savings accounts that also <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/online-savings-account-face-off-ally-bank-vs-capital-one-360">carry decent interest rates</a>, which can make your emergency savings work for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-online-savings-accounts?ref=seealso">5 Best Online Savings Accounts</a>)</p> <h2>2. A Large Network</h2> <p>If you aren&#39;t the &quot;social butterfly&quot; type, now is the time to get out there and expand your professional network. If your job suddenly is taken away, the old adage &quot;it&#39;s not what you know, but who you know&quot; will come in to play more than ever. Make sure you have a reliable network of colleagues. Your network can be your most valuable tool in a professional crisis.</p> <p>Start by going on LinkedIn and finding groups of people in similar professions in your area. <a href="http://www.eventbrite.com/">EventBrite</a> and <a href="http://www.meetup.com/">MeetUp</a> also are great resources to help build your professional network. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-31-hidden-networks-that-can-help-you-land-jobs?ref=seealso">Hidden Networks That Can Help You Land a Job</a>)</p> <h2>3. An Updated Resume</h2> <p>A resume showing your most recent skills and experience is a powerful tool that will take the least amount of effort on your behalf. If you suddenly lose your job, the time you take to update an old resume could have been spent looking for new contacts and new jobs. Always have an updated resume at the ready. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-your-resume-past-the-resume-filter?ref=seealso">Get Your Resume Past the Resume Filter</a>)</p> <p>Take the time to not only update the text in your resume, but also the appearance of your resume to help it stand out, especially if you&#39;re in a field that&#39;s design-related and is highly competitive. If renovating your resume feels like an overwhelming task, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/great-ways-to-improve-your-resume-today">here&#39;s a guide to help</a> you focus on what to tweak and where.</p> <h2>4. A Strategy (With Your Partner)</h2> <p>If you feel that your job might be compromised in the near future, it&#39;s best to discuss this with your partner. Waiting until it actually happens can send everyone into crisis mode and, let&#39;s face it, many people can&#39;t think clearly when in crisis mode. Lay out expectations, and have a plan B ready that includes at the minimum <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emergency-belt-tightening">an emergency budget</a> showing where you can cut costs in case your fears do become reality. And if you&#39;re single, it&#39;s even more beneficial to you to have a plan laid out, as there may not be a secondary source of income supporting you.</p> <h2>5. A Thorough Understanding of Your Benefits</h2> <p>If you are let go, it&#39;s important to know what the company is offering you as a settlement. Can you and your family count on health insurance for a few more months? Is there a sum of money that you can expect to sustain you for a little time? What happens to any retirement funds that were through the company? Get written information that explains in detail what you&#39;re entitled to if you&#39;re laid off.</p> <p><em>Have you been laid off or let go from a job? How did you get through it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/megan-brame">Megan Brame</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-things-you-need-to-survive-a-job-loss">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-first-5-things-you-must-do-after-getting-laid-off">The First 5 Things You Must Do After Getting Laid Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laid-off-make-sure-you-get-your-unemployment">Laid Off? You May Have to Fight for Unemployment Benefits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laid-off-what-to-do-before-plunging-into-the-job-search">Laid Off? What To Do Before Plunging Into The Job Search</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-unemployment-insurance">Everything You Need to Know About Unemployment Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-worst-things-good-employees-do">The 8 Worst Things Good Employees Do</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income emergency savings job loss layoff Wed, 15 Jan 2014 10:48:16 +0000 Megan Brame 1109740 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Places to Check out Medical Care for the Uninsured http://www.wisebread.com/5-places-to-check-out-medical-care-for-the-uninsured <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-places-to-check-out-medical-care-for-the-uninsured" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/stethoscope_0.jpg" alt="stethoscope" title="stethoscope" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="125" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p> <meta http-equiv="CONTENT-TYPE" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" /><br /> <title></title><br /> <meta name="GENERATOR" content="OpenOffice.org 3.0 (Win32)" /></p> <style type="text/css"> <!-- @page { margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } --><!-- @page { margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } --> </style></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">With job loss on the rise and many people who can not afford medical insurance on their own, yet don't qualify for state or federal assistance, there are many who will skip medical treatment to save money. Your health is certainly not something you can take likely.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><em><strong>Here are 5 places you can check out when you need medical help but don't have the insurance to cover it:</strong></em></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><strong>Your Family Doctor</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">Many individuals do not realize it but you can still see your family physician without insurance and be able to afford it. It may take some gumption but approach your doctor about a reduction in rates for services because you are willing to pay cash. Many doctors are happy to work with you because they will likely get more money and get it in a faster time period than when having to deal with insurance or Medicare.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><strong>Health Care Centers </strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">These are not the &ldquo;free clinics&rdquo; you might have in your community but there are health care centers regulated and sponsored by the federal government. These centers provide primary, preventative and dental services to people of all ages, based on a sliding payment scale. This means you pay for services based on how much income you make. Check out <a href="http://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/">findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov</a> to find a center in your area.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><strong>Planned Parenthood</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">Because Planned Parenthood centers often receive state funding and public donations, the fees for services may be even lower than normal, but you will typically you'll be charged what you can afford, based on your income. Women can receive family planning services, plus other treatment and testing for STD's, pap tests, breast exams, and birth control for little or no cost. Be sure to call first to discuss your finances if you do not have insurance. You'll be able to get a ball park figure for how much it will cost prior to going to your appointment. <strong>**&nbsp;UPDATE: An astute reader pointed out that PP is not only for women and men are welcome to be sure their reproductive and overall health is on track.**</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><strong>Convenience Clinics</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">These are the walk-in health centers located in major retail shopping chains such as pharmacies and Walmart. Typically, these clinics are staffed by RN practitioners and physician's assistants who can treat and prescribe medications for general colds, flu, and infections. They can also help treat and do preventative check-ups for conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. The costs will vary from clinic to clinic and depends on your illness or treatment plan. Some places will offer &ldquo;a la carte&rdquo; services and some will charge a &ldquo;flat-rate fee&rdquo; for services rendered.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><strong>Free Screenings</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">Many community groups, civic organizations, and local hospitals will offer regular free clinics for specific screenings of disease such as cancer, diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, and other conditions. Check in your local news paper or group newsletter to see what is coming up in you area and take advantage of the free (or at least discounted) health services. Early detection of many diseases can certainly save your life.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tisha-tolar">Tisha Tolar</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-places-to-check-out-medical-care-for-the-uninsured">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-emergency-fund-costing-you-money">Is Your Emergency Fund Costing You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/put-together-an-advance-directive-in-an-afternoon">Put Together an Advance Directive in an Afternoon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-7-money-moves-now-or-youll-regret-it-in-20-years">Make These 7 Money Moves Now Or You&#039;ll Regret It in 20 Years</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-best-pieces-of-financial-wisdom-from-oprah-winfrey">The 3 Best Pieces of Financial Wisdom From Oprah Winfrey</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/64-funny-inspiring-and-stupid-money-quotes-from-famous-people">64 Funny, Inspiring and Stupid Money Quotes From Famous People</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance health care job loss medical care prescriptions uninsured Tue, 28 Apr 2009 01:45:11 +0000 Tisha Tolar 3091 at http://www.wisebread.com Laid Off? You May Have to Fight for Unemployment Benefits http://www.wisebread.com/laid-off-make-sure-you-get-your-unemployment <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/laid-off-make-sure-you-get-your-unemployment" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3205285466_e054491140_z.jpg" alt="fist" title="fist" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="214" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you've recently been <a title="Tips for the Recently Laid Off" href="http://www.wisebread.com/lost-my-job-tips-for-the-recently-laid-off">laid off</a>, you may have to <a title="Unemployment: Not for Everyone" href="http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Weekend/story?id=6928837&amp;page=1">fight for your right to collect unemployment</a> from the government.</p> <p>You probably know that if you are fired, you can't collect unemployment from the government. Although qualifications can vary from state to state, generally, <a title="unemployment factsheet" href="http://workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/unemploy/uifactsheet.asp">only people who are laid off</a> from their jobs will qualify for unemployment benefits. But did you know that, even if you are laid off, your employer can <a title="employers fight unemployment benefits" href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/11/AR2009021104311.html">challenge your right to receive benefits</a>?</p> <p>Sneaky employers have always done this. It's not obvious at first why any business would want to prevent an employee caught up in massive job lay-offs from feeding their families until they find another job. After all, the money is coming from the government, right? (See also: <a title="Help! I Lost My Job!" href="http://www.wisebread.com/lost-my-job-tips-for-the-recently-laid-off">Help! I Lost My Job!</a>)</p> <p>Well, yes and no. The money that is used to pay unemployment benefits comes from unemployment insurance fees that employers pay into (similar to other government taxes). Whenever an employer lays off a bunch of workers, and these workers file for unemployment benefits with the government, the employer's unemployment insurance rates go up. It's still cheaper than paying the actual salaries of the laid off employees, but many employers who are trying to cut costs are willing to do anything to prevent rising insurance rates of any kind.</p> <p>The way to do this is to challenge the laid-off workers' rights to collect benefits by claiming that the employee was fired for poor performance, rather than laid off due to the company's financial difficulties. If a worker is let go for performance-based reasons, the employer doesn't have to pay additional unemployment insurance for them. So, companies are increasingly telling the government that laid-off workers were actually fired for negligence, poor performance, or as a recent laid-off employee from Verizon was accused, &quot;detour and frolic.&quot;</p> <p>The bad news is that employer disputes of unemployment benefits claims are up &mdash; the good news is that employers aren't only any more successful in their disputes than normal. They only win roughly 1/3 of their challenges, a figure that has remained consistent since the 1980s.</p> <p>If your employer challenges your right to unemployment benefits, you will likely have to get involved in some sort of mediation, either in court or through a similar process that involves a small hearing. How this works varies from state to state, but <a title="service locator" href="http://www.servicelocator.org/OWSLinks.asp">here's a handy map for finding your state agency</a> that deals with unemployment benefits.</p> <p>You can't do anything to prevent your employer from being a jerk, so if you know you might be caught up in layoffs in the coming months, here is what you can do to prepare for battle:</p> <p>1. <strong>Collect, print, and save all examples of superiors or coworkers praising your work or worth ethic.</strong> Emails, written notes, yearly performance reviews, letters of commendation &mdash; anything to prove that you were a valuable employee will be helpful in making your case to your state unemployment agency. If you can collect information that proves what your position was within your company, be it an employee contract, formal written job offer, or employee roster with job titles. On a similar note, be aware of any potential rebukes that your employer could mention if they should appeal your unemployment claim.</p> <p>2. When you are notified of the layoffs, <strong>do your best to be gracious.</strong> No one likes losing their job, but responding angrily will not help you. It's best to leave without burning any bridges.</p> <p>3. <strong>File for unemployment benefits as soon as you are eligible.</strong> If you are quick enough, you might stay ahead of the pack and get approved for benefits before your employer gets their wits about them.</p> <p>4. When you do get laid off, <strong>ask your employer to state the reasons for your dismissal in writing.</strong> Some employers only provide a verbal apology and a box to pack your stuff in, but it never hurts to ask for a more formal letter of dismissal.</p> <p>5. If you are a part of a massive layoff at a large company, the kind of layoffs that warrant articles in the news media, <strong>clip and keep articles that mention the layoffs.</strong> If you were let go along with a few hundred or thousand other employees, you may have a better chance of proving that your lack of unemployment was not due to any negligence on your behalf, but rather, was a function of a lousy economy.</p> <p>6. <strong>Be honest.</strong> Don't lie about your compensation, work history, or position. Any inconsistencies in your application that your employer can dispute will only hurt your case.</p> <p>7. If you can, <strong>ask your supervisor for a letter of recommendation</strong> either before or immediately after you are let go.</p> <p>8. Even though it's tiresome to hear, <strong>get your resume updated as soon as you can.</strong> Be sure to actively seek employment in a broad range of industries. Most unemployment benefits require that you constantly search for a new job. Keep a copy (electronic or printed) of every job application you submit.</p> <p>9. <strong>Remember &mdash; unemployment benefits really aren't that great, and will run out fairly quickly.</strong> If you CAN find another job with decent pay and benefits, you should consider taking it. After all, finding a new job when you are already employed is easier than finding a new job when you are jobless.</p> <p><em>Have you had to fight for your unemployment benefits when your former employer challenged your filing? What did you do to prove your case?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laid-off-make-sure-you-get-your-unemployment">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-unemployment-insurance">Everything You Need to Know About Unemployment Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-first-5-things-you-must-do-after-getting-laid-off">The First 5 Things You Must Do After Getting Laid Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-things-you-need-to-survive-a-job-loss">The 5 Things You Need to Survive a Job Loss</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-introverts-make-the-best-employees">6 Reasons Introverts Make the Best Employees</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/give-yourself-a-break-the-productivity-secret-thatll-change-the-way-you-work">Give Yourself a Break: The Productivity Secret That&#039;ll Change the Way You Work</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income job loss unemployment benefits Fri, 13 Mar 2009 17:32:29 +0000 Andrea Karim 2834 at http://www.wisebread.com