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Financial Tips to Survive Unemployment

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Losing your paycheck wreaks havoc on the family budget, but you are not without help. Food, utilities and medicine are crucial for you to maintain good health and look for work. These financial tips will help you to survive unemployment by providing resources for food, medical and utility assistance.

Food

Food accounts for approximately 20 percent of a family’s budget. Applying for food stamps, now called SNAP, is easier today than it was years ago. You can apply online from the privacy of your home and then follow-up with a phone interview. The amount of aid varies depending on your needs.

To feed your family while awaiting a decision from SNAP, visit local food banks. Some churches and many private charities offer bags of food to struggling singles and families. You may have to visit several to get enough food for one week, but your loved ones will have a hot meal on the table.

Visit your children’s school to enroll them in the free breakfast and lunch program. This takes care of 10 meals every week.

A senior losing a job that supplemented social security has two choices. Contact your local Meals on Wheels to find out about the free or reduced price lunch and dinner. In addition, your community senior center might offer a free hot lunch every day.

Medical

When people lose their jobs, they frequently lose their health insurance at the same time. Pharmacies have programs that provide a discount on prescriptions for the uninsured. Some programs give discounts on other items the pharmacy sells.

If you are already established with a doctor, he might reduce the office fee to an affordable amount. If not, then visit the county health department for treatment with a sliding scale fee structure.

Hospital bills can seem daunting when your finances barely keep a roof over your head. Contact the hospital administrator, as many charities work directly with him to pay the bills of people in need. The business office may not be aware of charity programs.

Utilities

Local, state and federal government programs help to pay utility bills. Additionally, private charities might pay all, or up to a specified dollar amount, toward electric or winter heating bills.

Contact the utility company before you get shut off. You might be able to lower your monthly expense with budget billing, or perhaps another program they offer. Some utilities have a donor fund to pay customer bills.

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