Unemployed Due to COVID? Use This Checklist to Prepare for a Possible Second Wave

young unemployed woman job searching covid

This past spring was unlike any other in recent history. While many people planned to leave the dark, winter months behind and come out of hibernation, reality proved quite different. Instead of attending annual festivals and baseball games, or returning to school after spring break, Americans were in quarantine.

COVID-19 changed not only our expectations, but also our finances. It's estimated that nearly 30 million people lost their jobs this spring due to the pandemic. With some predicting that the pandemic won't end until 2021, experts are preparing for a possible resurgence this fall.

If you lost your job due to COVID-19 and you're still unable to return to work, use this checklist to help shield your finances from a possible second wave.

  • Check State Unemployment Insurance Benefits

If you've exhausted your regular unemployment benefits, the Pandemic Emergency Compensation program might help. Eligible applicants can extend benefit payments up to 13 weeks through December 31. Check your eligibility for continued benefits by visiting the state unemployment insurance office website.

  • Slowly Stock Up on Food and Supplies

Even if you have the funds to do so, there's no need to clear the shelves at your local grocery store. Learning from recent consumer behavior, food producers are preparing now for increased demand this winter. Slowly filling your pantry with nonperishable food items, first aid products, and cleaning supplies can help you restock while staying within a budget.

  • Revisit Financial Assistance Programs

Make a list of local and state resources you used this year. Those that helped with food, housing, or other bills should top the list. Contact them to discover the services that are accessible if you're unable to return to work soon. There might be new resources available this coming winter for those affected by the pandemic.

The federal government's Disaster Financial Assistance with Food, Housing, and Bills webpage provides updates on available financial relief. Check the site weekly to stay on top of changes.

Some experts predict a more severe lockdown if the flu arrives in conjunction with a coronavirus spike this fall. By planning today, you can prepare financially and feel more secure about your future.

Download our free Financial First Aid Guide! It'll walk you through the best ways to manage your money during uncertain times. We’ll show you how to take inventory and review all your expenses, assess your debts, prioritize bills and communicate with creditors, and so much more!


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About Author

Tracy Scott
Tracy Scott

Tracy Scott is a freelance writer who specializes in personal finance and higher education. Her reading list always includes a seemingly odd mix of financial literacy articles and sweet romance novels. Tracy holds a BA in Psychology from UT Austin and has a background in higher education regulatory compliance.

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