Experts give steps to take after becoming unemployed

Published: Apr. 17, 2020 at 6:10 PM CDT
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It's difficult to stay home patiently if you're out of work and are worried about paying your bills.

Experts say there are many programs and resources available to help you financially until you can secure your next job.

Non-essential businesses across the state are closing. This has forced many people out of jobs or caused a loss of hours for many workers. However, there are steps you can take to ensure you have the essentials until you find employment.

Unemployment benefits are a good resource for providing quick relief.

"Traditionally, it's considered a safety net if somebody loses their job so they don't have zero income coming in while they're looking for their next job," says Job Service Communications Officer Sarah Arntson.

To apply for unemployment benefits, you can visit the North Dakota Job Service website.

The U.S. Department of Labor is asking everyone to apply for regular Unemployment Insurance first. Then, if you receive a denial, you can apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

For food assistance, the North Dakota Department of Human Services can help through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

"It really is about making sure that households that are experiencing financial crisis still have access to nutritious foods," says Department of Human Services Executive Policy Director Jessica Thomasson.

You can apply through the Human Services website by clicking "Apply for Help or Report Changes." Then, you can start the process by clicking "Get Started."

Financial advisors say now is a good time to review your budget.

"Get down to where is every dollar going. A lot of times, we can find money in frivolous spending that we do just out of habit. If we do that, a lot of times we can leave our savings alone and use that as a last resort," says Securian Financial Advisor David Wald.

Wald says if you're considering taking out a loan, make sure the interest rate is something you'll be able to pay in the future. The Job Service website lists links to job openings as well.

For more information on where you can turn to for assistance, you can reach out to a Job Services representative, local financial planner or Human Services.