Hardships hit us all when we least expect it. One that could turn your world on its side is losing your job. Whether you’re being let go or mutually parting ways with an employer, unemployment is a tough set-back in anyone’s life; you may feel awful about the situation, especially if it came out of left field.

The first step in overcoming this hurdle is not to panic and remain calm. Positivity is your biggest ally, and your friends and family members will surely play a role in this as well.

The second step is doing everything in your power to find a job; your downtime will consist of you tweaking your resume multiple times, and even looking for a quick side job while you try to reel in another big fish.

To help you float by during this period, we’ve compiled a little list of resources, programs, and alternatives that may be at your disposal, so that you don’t necessarily have to dip into your savings, helping you budget properly until the next paycheck comes your way. From losing your job at no fault of your own to getting injured on the job, here’s the variety of ways to obtain unemployment benefits.

Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment programs are the most common source of funding for the recently jobless. The eligibility requirements vary from state to state, but it is general for workers who’ve lost their job at no fault of their own.

CareerOneStop.org can help you find out how to apply for unemployment insurance in your respected state. Usually, you’ll file for your benefits online or a toll-free phone number. While, it may be nice to have a little form of cushion during your unemployment period, no matter how small it may be, you will have to report your benefits during the following tax season.

Self-Employment Assistance

Self-Employment Assistance programs offer unemployed workers in the states of Delaware, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, and Oregon the invaluable opportunity of creating their own jobs by starting their own local or small business.

Job Training & Educational Assistance

It is possible to receive more unemployed benefits than anticipated, if you’re interested in educational and on the job training opportunities. These opportunities could be at discounted rate or free depending on your eligibility. Check out the Dept. of Labor’s grant programs or one of the helpful links at CareerOneStop’s training program page.

Disability Insurance

Disability Insurance is helpful for any individual or family that must deal with a financial hardship due to injury or illness. These ailments prevent the affected persons from earning a living or providing for their family. Many employers offer some sort of information on programs that work in lieu with their company, so an individual may obtain funding. Workers’ Compensation is one such program that protects those individuals injured on the job.

Wrongful Termination

Sometimes individuals feel that the termination made by their employer was wrongful and unjust. If this is the case, you can research your state’s laws about wrongful terminations and discharge. These laws will vary from state to state and many have no real constraints about letting individual employees go. However, it may be beneficial to contact your state’s labor office or seek legal counsel to see what you can do.


Unemployment is not ideal, but it’s not the end of the world and, if anything, it is the start of a new chapter in your life. Just stay positive and focused on bettering yourself, and good will come from it.