I was lucky enough to have had a severance package during my lay off, but today marks the last paycheck I’ll get. It’s time to file for unemployment.
You could say that I’ve been blessed. I’ve had 19 years of continuous employment, but my luck has run out and I find myself having to ask the government for help to feed my family. That is a humbling statement. My wife says that I’ve earned it, and I have, being a dedicated and loyal worker, but at the same time I was happy to have the tax coming out of my paycheck to help those less fortunate.
I don’t want to sound boastful, but I’m just unaccustomed to my circumstances. It still doesn’t even seem real to me. I was talking to a neighbor yesterday that has been unemployed longer than I have. He doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to get back to work, even talking about getting his Masters Degree. The difference is that his spouse works and mine does not. I have the pressure of being the sole “bread winner” and now we have no bread.
So my last paycheck hits the bank today and I’ve been on the state website filling out the forms. Fortunately, I can fill out the forms and submit online. No longer do you have to stand in long lines and file the papers manually. You can now fill out these forms -- assuming your state government has a site setup -- from the comfort and privacy of your own home. If you are reading my blog you have a computer and access to the Internet. Those are the only prerequisites that you need to get started. My state even has a video tutorial for how to prepare the forms.
The forms are involved. I’d say plan to spend 60-90 minutes completing the application. Notice I said "application." You have to submit the forms and then be approved. Heaven forbid that I’m feeling destitute and somebody has to decide whether or not I’m going to get a couple hundred bucks a week that I’ve had taken out of my paycheck in taxes for the past 19 years. I’m starting to think my wife was right. I AM entitled to the money in my time of need.
From the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page it looks like I can get up to 26 weeks of state assistance. I sure hope it doesn’t take me that much longer to find suitable work, but it is good to know it is there.
I’d love for you to share your comments with our readers about how to manage finances during this rough economy.
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