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I was laid off / furloughed

I or my partner have lost our source of income for now and I need to know the best moves to get through until we can get back to work.

Step 1: Apply for unemployment

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 further extends federal unemployment benefits of up to $300 a week through September 5, 2021. Your payment amount will depend on the state where you live. If you are a freelance or gig worker, you will need to have substantiation of previous income, so make sure you’ve filed accurate tax returns claiming all your income to qualify for the most accurate payment possible.

Step 2: Make the most of your stimulus and tax refund, if applicable

The IRS has sent all stimulus payments, so if anyone calls you or emails you for information asking you to update anything, it’s a scam. If you didn’t receive your stimulus payment but believe you were eligible for one you may have to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 tax return. Once you do receive your money, make the most of it by prioritizing your bills appropriately.

Step 3: Apply for short-term jobs

Even if you’ve applied for unemployment, it’s still a good idea to seek additional income as even a little bit can help. There are still businesses in desperate need of workers – think of the places you still can go or the services you’re still using, then consider picking up a few shifts until you can return to your regular job (or begin seeking a new one in your industry).

Step 4: Explore ways to pause bills

There are several federal and state government efforts to encourage banks, credit card companies and other financial entities to give flexibility to people affected by COVID-19, but you may still need to take action depending on what bills you’re unable to pay or looking to delay.

Step 5: Consider these options as a last resort

It’s not ideal, but if you have exhausted other options you may need to look for funds from sources like retirement assets, life insurance policies, and personal loans.

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All content is for informational purposes only and should never be considered, conveyed, or shared as legal, tax, investment, or financial advice under any circumstance.