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Approximately 47 million Americans could lose their jobs because of coronavirus (COVID-19). It is overwhelming to think about what lies ahead, and Americans are struggling to navigate the whirlwind of federal relief programs being touted daily in the news and social media.
Whether you’ve been laid off or furloughed, or are an entrepreneur struggling to find new business opportunities, there is help. We can help you understand your options to navigate what you can control and empower you to take action.
Understanding the Impact on You
If you’re newly unemployed due to COVID-19, first things first: find out your eligibility and apply for unemployment benefits.
In late March, the government passed the CARES Act into law. As part of the $2 trillion of economic relief provided by the CARES Act, there are three main additions that you need to know about:
- Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC): The federal government is granting an additional $600 per week for unemployment insurance recipients. This will run through July 31st, 2020.
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA): Available to individuals who would not typically qualify for unemployment benefits but have lost their job directly due to COVID-19.
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Assistance (PEUA): A 13-week continuation of your state unemployment benefits after the initial period.
The next thing you should do immediately upon becoming unemployed is find out what insurance and financial support you’ll receive from your employer. As you explore health insurance options, you may be able to keep your health insurance through COBRA, or you can elect coverage through the HealthCare Marketplace.
Learn about your eligibility and more information in this comprehensive step-by-step guide from Mint on what exactly to do upon becoming unemployed.
You should also understand the tax implications of unemployment, including how unemployment income is taxed (it is typically taxable and should be included in your yearly tax filing), and what steps to take for people receiving unemployment income. Our friends at TurboTax have put together important tax tips for unemployment income if you’ve been laid off or furloughed.
Resources to Help Manage Finances
While figuring out the best approach to claiming unemployment insurance and learning about its implications on your taxes, there are other things you can do right now to maintain your financial health.
Managing your credit during these tough times is more important than ever, especially with the loss of steady income. Take the time to learn the ins and outs of your credit situation, and get educated on the basics like what good credit looks like, how to maintain your credit during COVID-19, how student loan and mortgage forbearance can impact your credit, and much more.
Brittney Castro, Mint and Turbo’s Certified Financial Planner, suggests continuing to plan for reaching your financial goals, just the same as you would before COVID-19.
“If you have the ability to do so, continue to use the Mint app to manage how much you can save every month, pay down debt, build an emergency fund, save for retirement.”
Whether you’re a small business owner, a taxpayer, or just someone wanting to maintain financial control of your life, unemployment can be tough, but not unnavigable. To assess your potential eligibility for federal relief loan programs, visit aidassist.intuit.com.
Get more financial guidance at intuit.com/financial-tips.