When you have lost your job and have no money, you don't have to struggle through this crisis alone. There are many agencies that exist for the sole purpose of helping individuals like you. You don't have to be embarrassed when you fall on hard times. Instead, hold your head up high and receive the assistance that is available to you. When you get back on your feet, you can always “pay it forward” to help another person in your same situation.
Apply for unemployment benefits if you lost your job through no fault of your own. Depending upon the amount of hours you worked for the company, you may qualify for benefits. If you qualify to receive benefits, you will receive a weekly benefit check. This may not be a lot of money. However, it is enough to help you get through the difficult times.
To apply for unemployment benefits, visit your local Employment Security Commission. To find a security commission near you, use the "DOL Services By Location" tool on the U.S. Department of Labor website (see Resources).
Contact your local United Way agency. You can contact United Way by dialing “611” from your mobile phone. Ask the agency representative for the names of agencies that can provide assistance.
These agencies are generally broken down into categories. For example, some agencies help with utility bills and rent, others help with groceries, others provide shelter, tokens for public transportation, gas cards, and school uniforms.
Apply for assistance through your local Department of Health and Human Services. For instance, you can apply for food stamps to help buy groceries. If you have children, you can also apply for the welfare program. The welfare program provides you with a monthly check to ensure the needs of the children are met.
To locate a Department of Health and Human Services office near you, use the "Regional Offices" lookup tool on the Department of Health and Human Services website (see Resources).
Contact other agencies in your community to see if assistance is available. For example, contact the YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association), churches and charities. To find a local YWCA near you, use the "Find YWS" tool on the YWCA website.
Contact companies that you owe. Let the company know that you are experiencing a financial crisis. The company may be able to waive your payment for a month or set up a payment plan. Though this is not direct financial assistance, it can certainly help ease the burden.