At the beginning of an episode from the hit television show “Seinfeld,” Jerry Seinfeld made a joke that once you begin working you are repeatedly reminded of the potential reality of being fired from your job and becoming unemployed because of the employment insurance tax placed on your pay stub every single week.
Not everyone makes plans for being unemployed, especially for a long period of time (six months or more), but it’s a situation that most people have to comes to terms with at least once in their lifetime. This is a tough predicament to be in, but as long as you understand what you’re entitled to, what your rights are and how you can leave the trenches of joblessness, it can be a less painful process.
Over the past few decades, governments and public officials have attempted to provide a safety net for those who suffer from the misfortunes of losing their job. There are a lot of benefits, programs and entitlements that you may be eligible for upon receiving a pink slip. It’s important to determine what your rights are as an unemployed person and what you can and can’t do.
Here are four things to consider when finding out your rights when you’re out of work:
Soon after you have been given your papers and a pink slip, take the time to head down to human resources and find out if you are entitled to any severance packages compiled throughout the duration of your employment. In other words, you may be eligible for several weeks’ worth of pay, which can buy you some time before you gain another position.
A few days after you have learned of your dismissal from your company, contact your local government office to determine how much you can receive as part of your weekly, bi-weekly or monthly unemployment check. This way you can immediately revise your budget and expenditures to ensure you’re not living beyond your means.
It should be noted that there are a wide variety of criteria that jobless individuals need to meet. Due to the economic downturn, widespread abuse and governmental reforms, unemployment benefits really depend on where you live and how long you have worked.
If you have only been able to garner a part-time or temporary position then you may be able to file for an income supplement. This is a refundable tax credit for eligible workers who are in a low-income bracket. It may be a valuable benefit for those who want to work right away instead of waiting for months at a time.
Of course, it depends on where you live, but a lot of governments over the past several years have instituted financial assistance when it comes to healthcare for the poor, the disabled and the jobless. Whether it’s for eye care, dental care or health examinations, there are benefits out there to help cover these sometimes costly expenses.
All over your city, you are likely to find job training programs, municipal offices that help you find work and career counselors that will work one-on-one with you to perfect your resume and cover letter. These types of establishments also provide you with the necessary information to find out what your rights are when you’re jobless.
Being unemployed is not only financially stressful and a strain on your health, but it’s also a real eye opener because it allows you to step foot into other people’s shoes, especially those who have been perpetually impoverished and unemployed. This situation also permits you to learn about how the government works and what programs are actually out there to offer safety nets to society’s most vulnerable.
How did you find out your rights as an unemployed person? Let us know in the comment section.
Photo via Pixabay.