Getting replacement income: what to do when you suddenly find yourself jobless

When your employment is interrupted it is important to get replacement income as soon as you can. Your mortgage is still due, your car payment still needs to be paid and you and your family still need to eat. Searching for a job to replace your prior income can be as onerous and time consuming as an actual job itself. Thankfully for you, and the economy as a whole, there are several benefit programs in place to assist those who become unemployed through less than ideal circumstances. Let’s take a look at some of these programs and so that you know where to look if you become unemployed.

Unemployment insurance

This is the most well known and one of the most used programs for the unemployed to get replacement income after losing their job. The stipulation is that you must have lost your job for legitimate reasons or through no fault of your own. The rules for unemployment vary from state to state, so check the specific rules of your state to see if you qualify.

Worker’s compensation income

When you cannot work because of a work-related injury or illness this is the program that is most likely to provide you with replacement income promptly. It may also pay the medical bills resulting from a workplace injury or illness; compensate workers for permanent injuries; such as the loss of a limb; and provide death benefits to the survivors of workers who die from a workplace injury or illness.

Social Security Disability Insurance

This is intended to provide income to adults who, because of injury or illness, cannot work for at least 12 months. Unlike the worker’s compensation program, it does not require that your disability be caused by a workplace injury or illness.

Once you have looked at your own personal situation you can pick the program that fits you the best. If you were fired from your job or laid off, unemployment insurance may be your best bet. If you were injured on the job or caught an illness at work, worker’s compensation may be best for you. If you have suffered a severe disability that will last a long time social security disability benefits could be the right program. Whichever it is, it s always prudent to act quickly when applying for your benefits to be sure that you get them and that you receive them in a timely manner.[1]

[1] Repa, Barbara K., Your Rights in the Workplace, Nolo (8th ed. 2007).