What Can Long Islanders Do When the $600 Unemployment Relief Runs Out?
Long Islanders that were unemployed or furloughed during COVID-19 have been receiving an additional $600 a week in unemployment as a result of the CARES Act. But that relief is scheduled to end on July 26.
When this unemployment relief runs out, the maximum rate will return to the standard $504 per week. This will still be helpful to those out of work but will be a significant change for those that have been relying on the additional funds. By planning for this change, Long Islanders can be better prepared for their financial future.
Adjust Your Budget
Before the unemployment relief runs out, consider cutting your discretionary spending. This may be increasingly difficult as businesses begin to reopen. However, taking a thorough look at your budget can help you prepare for the decrease in income. Decide what you can cut back on or cut out, at least until you’re back at work. If you’ve been furloughed, contact your employer to find out if and when you may be able to go back to work. Consider finding other ways to bring in funds, even it’s a side hustle, part-time opportunity, or new full-time position.
Contact Your Creditors
Many companies and creditors have been offering assistance to those impacted by COVID-19. Banks, cell phone companies, utility companies, car insurance companies are among those that could help. Contact the company directly to see what options may be available to you once the unemployment relief runs out. If you’ve already been making use of some assistance, consider calling again to let them know that your situation has not improved. They may not be able to extend you any further assistance, but you won’t know unless you ask. Balance transfer cards can also be good option for those with good credit. However, fewer creditors are offering them during these times.
Additionally, many electric companies, including PSE&G, Con Edison, and National Grid have suspended shut-offs and don’t have any plans to reinstate shut-offs in the near future. Exploring these options can help keep you on your feet when the unemployment relief runs out.
Consider Your Housing Costs
It’s also important to know what your housing costs will be once the additional unemployment runs out. If you’re a renter in an apartment building financed through a federally backed mortgage, the grace period ends on July 25. However, even if tenants are issued an eviction notice, they cannot be removed for another 30 days. Those renting single-family homes have a grace period until August 31. Speak with your landlord to find out what options are available to you. Additionally, homeowners that were already in the process of foreclosure pre-pandemic also have until August 31.
Explore Other Resources
When the additional unemployment benefits run out, Long Islanders can turn to other government assistance programs to help supplement. SNAP (food stamps), Medicaid, and HEAP are all options. Long Island residents can call 211, 888-774-7633, or visit 211longisland.org to access United Way’s 24/7 information helpline that provides referrals for those still in need.
These additional unemployment resources have been very beneficial to those out of work during the pandemic. However, with the end of these benefits in sight, it’s crucial to start planning now. When the additional unemployment relief runs out, being prepared by adjusting your budget and exploring your other options and resources will allow you to keep your finances on track.
If you’re struggling to plan or to tackle debt you’ve accumulated during the pandemic, you may want to contact a debt professional. The team at Tayne Law Group, P.C. is here for you. Call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.