Having to rely on unemployment benefits is not easy when you are used to earning a steady income and providing for your family. But how do you handle things when the tough period extends more than you would have thought? What are you supposed to do when your unemployment benefits run out, and there's no sign of a new job?
Unemployment benefits are temporary measures authorities take to help you handle your basic expenses until you find employment again. Unless you qualify for an extension, as Employment Insurance benefits can only be paid for 45 weeks, you should be able to get a new job during that period.
Once your benefits run out, your options are quite limited. Still, life has to continue, and you must find a way to stay afloat and, if possible, without falling behind. The best way to do that is to be prepared for struggling periods and do the best you can to diminish the impact of losing your benefits. Here are the strategies you can use to help.
The Self Employment Benefit Program
Being self-employed is usually considered a daring attempt, but when you cannot rely on employment and have exhausted your benefits, starting your own business can be a way out. The good news is the government will lend you a helping hand.
The self-employment benefit program receives funds due to the Canada-Provincial Governments Labor Market Agreements. It is designed to offer different assistance types, including financial help, to start their own business to earn a living. If you qualify, you will also receive technical assistance and counseling.
To start your self-employment training, you will be assigned a coordinator who will help you apply for the program. After taking a close look at your situation and your particular set of skills, they can tell you if this option can work in your case.
Once you submit your application, it's time to create a solid business plan that will clearly show your potential. Your coordinator will help you understand the key elements that the business plan must follow. They will also give you the good news if your project is approved.
An essential aspect of becoming self-employed is the fact that you may need extensive training first. That means that you should start preparing before your benefits run out, so you will be ready to start your project sooner.
Trying to find a full-time job should be a constant effort during this period. But if there are no results, it's time to be open to other types of employment, even those you wouldn't have considered before. Freelancing is an excellent option, as long as your skills are compatible with this type of work.
Temp jobs can also be an alternative, and a specialized agency can help you find them. It will probably be quite different from your previous working experience, but it will be helpful as long as it brings you any income. It's essential to keep looking for opportunities online and be prepared to fight significant competition.
Community Food Programs
Despite all your efforts, finding any job may take longer than you can afford. In such a situation, you need a way to cover the minimum. If other expenses can be considered optional, food isn't one of them.
Canada has community food programs, and food banks meant to help families who have no way of buying food. They are a great option you can turn to, judgment-free.
Reducing your Fixed Expenses
Cutting down the unnecessary expenses was probably one of the first steps you took. But what people usually cut in such cases are the smaller expenses, like subscriptions. But when there is no job prospect in the near future, it's time for more severe cuts.
The drastic measures you may need to take can include:
- Moving to a smaller and more affordable home
- Doing your best to reduce utility bills, renegotiating, or consolidating your debt
- Selling your car or something of value
When you are unemployed and expect your benefits to run out, getting behind on bills can become real. If you already have serious debt, you need professional help to avoid getting things entirely out of control. Debt professionals can evaluate your situation and help you find solutions to reduce your dues. If you consider you cannot avoid filing for insolvency, a licensed trustee can help you through this process.
An extended period of unemployment can happen to anyone. When you're facing circumstances that are out of your control, there is no way around it. The most important thing is not to panic. If you organize your expenses and your hunt for a job, you can overcome the challenging period.
But all this strategy we have contoured above has to start as early as possible. If you didn't create a contingency plan as soon as you lost your job, make sure you do it while still receiving your benefits. Take the necessary measures before the situation becomes critical.
The truth is you have more options while your benefits are still available, and it would be a shame not to take advantage of it. For instance, as soon as you start receiving your unemployment benefits, you can plan a budget for the upcoming weeks. A personal loan can help you keep your budget balanced and is easy to access.
One of the easiest ways to borrow money for a short period in Canada is from a private lender. Unlike traditional lenders, you will find their requirements much easier to meet. A lender like iCASH can provide you with funds to cover costs you cannot postpone, even if you have bad credit.
iCASH provides different types of short-term loans that give you up to $1,500 to use any way you want, and the reimbursement conditions are reasonable and flexible*. It's helpful to know some lenders approve your application even if your income comes from benefits and your credit history is less than perfect.