Unemployment can throw a curveball at your financial plans leaving you feeling unsure of what to do next. Here are a few steps you can take that can help you while you search for your next job.
When it comes to protecting yourself in periods of unemployment, an emergency fund is vital. It is typically recommended that you save up at least 3 to 6 months of essential living expenses. This allows you to have time to search for a new job without the added stress of needing funds immediately. If you don’t currently have an emergency fund, do what you can to make the money you have available last. Restructure your spending and pull from savings as needed to create a cushion.
To see if you are eligible for unemployment in Texas, apply by clicking HERE. It takes about 4 weeks from the date you apply to know if you are eligible for benefits. If you’re approved, the benefits last until either you find a new job, or the insurance expires. The term is usually 26 weeks but can be extended in certain circumstances. The income you are eligible for varies. Keep in mind that any unemployment you collect is taxable income.
Negotiating a Severance Package
A severance package (termination pay) has no uniform standard for what it should be. Some companies will pay one week for each year of service and others will provide a flat four weeks of pay. Because there is no standard, be prepared to negotiate what you think is fair.
If you participated in a retirement savings plan with your employer, you’ll be given the option of how you want your assets to be handled when you’re no longer working for them. You may be able to leave the assets in the plan for the time being, but you always have the option of moving them into an IRA.
Having health insurance is essential. If you were insured through your employer’s plan, you may be eligible for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) for up to 18 months. The downside is, you generally pay the full premium your employer pays plus up to 2% in administration fees. Even though this is a hefty expense, staying covered matters most.
Before packing up your desk, it might be worth it to ask your employer for a few things such as:
· the extension of your health-insurance benefits
· a prorated bonus for the months you’ve worked
· cash for any unused sick or vacation days
As you try to figure out what to do next, it may be in your best interest to scale back certain areas of your budget and focus on necessities.
Finding a Job
Finding your next job will vary depending on your field and desired role. If you are stressing about where to start looking, here are a few options:
· online job boards
· former coworkers or friends
· look at other companies in your field and check their websites
· contact your alumni network for assistance or connections
· apply to a temp agency to get short term jobs while you search
Being proactive can make a job loss much easier to manage. No matter your situation, you have options that can help spring you into your next position.