Layoffs. High unemployment rates. Everywhere you turn, money – or lack of it – is in the news. What are some steps you can take to maximize what you have and plan for the future? You’ve lost your job – and you are beginning to panic. How can you manage your finances to minimize the impact of employment loss and maximize your financial security? Some basic steps include the following:
• Check on your eligibility for health coverage under your spouse’s plan. If you don’t qualify, find out whether your company participates in COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) coverage. Most employers are required to do so by federal law, but there are exceptions. And for some people, a federal subsidy will pick up a large portion of your COBRA payment. • File for unemployment benefits as quickly as possible. It takes some time to process the claim. • Continue to make timely payments on your debts – and avoid racking up any more.