Saturday, April 4, 2020

If you lost your job due to the Coranavius, file for unemployment. Don't wait. Do it promptly.

by Rod Williams- I worked for many years as a housing counselor with a HUD-approved housing counseling agency.  Since 2007 until a couple years ago when I retired, I worked in "mortgage default" and helped hundreds of people avoid losing their home.  Unfortunately we could not help everyone.  Some, because they were simply irresponsible and could not afford their home to begin with and had poor money management skills and made poor decisions.  Others lost their home because they did not respond to the housing crisis in a responsible way.

Some of those in the second category were not irresponsible people but when they found themselves in a crisis they failed to take action until it was too late to be helped or they took action that made their situation worse. While as of now, the only mortgaged assistance program is new HUD guidelines that offer extended forbearance agreements, I suspect that if this crisis goes on a while or the economic recovery is slow, there we be new programs to help people avoid foreclosure. There were numerous programs designed to help people avoid foreclosure during the housing crisis that started in 2007.  Don't do the wrong thing and make yourself unable to be helped or ineligible to be helped.

It is a mistake to either not get unemployment or not getting it promptly. Get it promptly. Please file immediately.  Most people do not have an emergency fund and even if they do, one wants to hold onto it as long as you can. My suggestion would be to apply for unemployment the next day after you lose your job. Make that your number one priority. Don't put it off. I know when bad things happen some people are immobilized with anxiety or they hide there head in the sand and say, "I'll all work out." Don't. Get busy trying to make the best of a bad situation. Help yourself be helped.

Some people don't file for unemployment because they think they may not be eligible.  If you quit your job because you thought you were going to be furloughed anyway and you just quit going to work, that was the wrong thing to do. However, file anyway.  You may, probably will, still qualify for unemployment.

If you are a self-employed contractor you normally would not qualify for unemployment.  Self employed people do not have an employer who has been paying unemployment insurance.  However, in the coronavirus act passed by Congress "gig" workers are eligible. So, if you worked for someplace like Uber or Grubhub, you probably will qualify. If in doubt, file.

Getting the unemployment not only helps pay the bills but if a program comes alone to help people avoid losing their home, I expect one of the eligibility requirements will be that one lost a job through no fault of their own. Getting unemployment is the proof programs relay on to document that. The below is from a government site.

Filing Unemployment
How to file an Unemployment Claim 
1. Go to
2. Click on “Unemployment Benefits”
3. Select “File a Claim”
4. If you have an account sign in by entering your username and password
5. If you do not have an account, click “Next” to proceed to the next screen.
6. Follow the prompts and enter all required information

Where do I go to file an unemployment claim?
You can file your claim anywhere and at any time during the week online.

If you need assistance you can click on the help icon and speak to a representative.

You can meet our field representative at the Career Centers on specific scheduled days during the week.

Information Needed to Apply for Unemployment
  • Social Security Number 
  • Driver’s License or State Identification Card 
  • Complete mailing address 
  • Phone number 
  • Email address 
  • Names and addresses of all previous employers for in the last 18 months. 
  • Banking Information including routing number and account number for direct deposit.
If you were affected by a recent closure due to COVID-19 please answer “Yes” to this question:
Are you unemployed as a direct result of Covid-19?
Follow the prompts and enter all required information, including a return to work date. If your employer did not provide a return to work date, enter the date 16 weeks from your file date. A return to work date must be entered in order to exempt you from the weekly job search requirement.

Covid-19 Need Claim Assistance?
If you have any questions pertaining to your claim, please contact the help line at 877-813-0950. Website assistance (This link will allow you to create an email request ticket, to correspond with an agent regarding any inquiries that you may have. An agent will respond within 48-72 hours of the ticket being

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