This site is privately owned and is not affiliated with any government agency.

Unemployment & mental health: How losing your job takes a toll on the psychological state

Employment is undoubtedly essential for meeting one’s basic requirements. It promotes self-esteem, self-realization, and satisfies creative urges. Conversely, unemployment has adverse effects on mental health. Read on to know more about how unemployment and mental health are interconnected. 

According to statistics, the unemployment rate in the United States rose to 3.6% in 2020. Several factors, such as changing policies, climate change, widespread epidemics like coronavirus, etc. have contributed to the rise in the unemployment rate. 

Unemployment and Mental Health

With that said, unemployment, particularly when involuntary or unexpected, takes a toll on one’s mental balance. An unemployed person displays lower levels of psychological well-being than the employed. When one experiences unemployment for an extended period, he/she can report several mental disorders & conditions such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, substance abuse, to name a few. In some extreme cases, psychological distress can lead to violent and suicidal behaviors. Let us have a brief look at the impacts of unemployment on mental health.

Depression 

As per statistics, about 6.7% of US adults experience major depressive disorder after a job loss. When individuals remain unemployed for a longer time, it is natural for them to feel a sense of hopelessness. Some just feel disappointed, and others may disconnect themselves from family, friends, and social life as they find it difficult to face people and questions on the unemployment that arises during the conversation. Some of the symptoms of depression include:

  • Social isolation
  • Irritability 
  • Feeling of hopelessness
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of concentration 
  • Hypersomnia 

In some extreme cases, individuals can also experience hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, and delusions. 

Anxiety 

Anxiety is another major psychological disorder attributed to long-term unemployment. When individuals no longer have a source of revenue, they become anxious about everything. How to fulfill the needs of the family? How to pay utilities, rent, medical, meals, and children’s school fees? Such thoughts can haunt them all the time. Some of the symptoms of anxiety are:

  • Restlessness
  • Excessive worry 
  • Irritability 
  • Specific phobia
  • Sleep disturbance 
  • Muscle tension

Long-term anxiety or chronic anxiety can result in physical health issues such as respiratory and urinary problems, and many more.  

Low self-esteem 

Unemployment and mental health conditions, like self-esteem, are closely linked. When employed, individuals would feel a sense of purpose and critical contributors to society. But when they lose the job or remain unemployed for a longer duration, they experience the feeling of worthlessness, incompleteness, and lack of confidence. Further, due to low self-esteem, the unemployed person might see disapproval or rejection even when there isn’t any. Some of the common signs of low self-esteem are as follows:

  • Social isolation
  • Sensitive to criticism 
  • Indecisive
  • Fear of failure
  • Easily annoyed
  • Constantly seeking reassurance
  • Trouble being alone

Low self-esteem can also manifest physical health problems and erode individuals’ life in every way. 

Develop low confidence

Being unemployed can unknowingly cause psychological damages like lack of confidence or self-doubt. This is common among those who are unemployed for a longer period. Self-doubt deepens when they are unable to find a job within a short span after losing a source of income. The individuals may feel they are not worthy of a job and start doubting their skills and capabilities. Common signs of lack of confidence are as listed below.

  • Constructive to feedback
  • Emotional turmoil
  • Continuously trying to find a loophole in skills 
  • Keeping mum during job regarding conversations 
  • Finding excuses for actions 

Individuals developing low confidence can eventually lapse into conditions where every action appears personal. 

In the worst scenario, the unemployed can also turn to illegal drug use. Unemployment is undoubtedly one of the significant factors that affect mental health. However, the impact varies with the duration of unemployment. 

If you are one among the unemployed, do not lose hope, and pay attention to your mental health. If you are employed but know people who are currently facing such unfortunate situations, ensure to motivate them and ask them to stay positive! 

If you are in need, you can avail of unemployment benefits. Ensure to check your eligibility criteria before applying for filing for unemployment benefits.  

 

Related Tags : , ,

Did you find this article helpful?   YES | NO   image

    • Ed,

      Please try finding answers online since there might be limited phone support due to the shortage of staffing. You can use the “Resources” or “FAQs” section of the website.

  1. I’m an essential worker but dr want me to stay at home am I available to receive any money do to this Coronavirus out break

    • Pattie,

      We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly.

      Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

  2. I work for a church pre school program and I have lost my job due to coronavirus. When I applied for unemployment in Texas it says that two does not except this employer as my last employer. I’ve been working there for 13 years. What do I do?

  3. Chad ….. how do I get thru when it wont accept my ID or my password. I change it 5 times and it still wont work. Calling is not working at any time when I spend and whole day calling back to back to get thru. why don’t they just help or force the employers ( company) to place they claims in for their workers like GM did……I NEED HELP…PLEASE.

    • Chad,

      We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly.

      Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

  4. i live in ga…all the day cares have shut down my wife and i have full time jobs,,,but i have to leave my company which i have been there for over two years,to take care of our child….can i still collect unemployment…this covid virus is why i have to leave my job…

    • Gary,

      We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly.

      Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

  5. are you kidding me my son lost his job on 10/17/2020 hes mentally challenged and cant file on his own because he doesn’t know how so I started going to sites trying to file for him and the residence inn Marriott promised to help him and have done zip . ive tried 10 different sites and I keep getting dropped wen I complete forms and push submit. 12 days now n still cant file a claim.

    • Martin,

      There’s only one website you should be trying from. Please let us know your state and we’ll share the website information.

  6. I have submitted my forms EXACTLY as I was instructed too on line. Even though I have filled out the paperwork correctly I keep getting emails asking for me to fill out the form that I have done multiple times already. Remuneration – Claimant Questionnaire is the issue. I got online and requested a phone call. 3 days ago. I just need to know that you guys received everything and I don’t owe any more information.
    Nobody answers the 617-626-6800 number. Just get directed to the internet. Well, you can’t speak with the internet. I am getting mixed messages and I fret that this will delay any benefits.
    Could someone please give me a call.

    • James,

      Please try finding answers online since there might be limited phone support due to the shortage of staffing. This is a private forum and we’ll not be able to arrange a callback.

  7. I work for a church that has grown it’s congregation over almost 40 years and we now have 26 mostly full time employees, most being here many years. Will our employees be able to file and receive benefits since we are an EXEMPT from paying unemployment industry? State of Florida

  8. My unemployment benefits ran out 3/1/2020 am I able to file for extended benefits ? I live in California and am 62 years old.

    • Ariana,

      We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly.

      Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

  9. Hi Sam,

    Thank you for being here to answer questions for everyone who is scared and out of work. I have a question myself too. I see Oregon isn’t on the list for NOT activating EB yet. So that means Oregon has? My previous claim is at $0 and expires in August 2020. I got a new job in a restaurant one month ago. But now the restaurant has closed for the virus. There is no spot on Oregon’s website for “Extended Benefits” application. Only a spot to file a new claim. But I cannot file a new one because the current one (that could be extended) is still active. What do I do?

    Any information or guidance you could give me would be so welcome!
    Thank you so much Sam!

  10. Hello, Sam, I have tried last Thursday to get my PIN reset. I have called every number over 100 times. Emailed, called, emailed, for hours upon hours. I have asked who is the moderator for this Website, and no one knows. Sam, if you are responding to our comments here, my question are you the moderator? Or , do you know the Moderator>? Many of us just need help with that issue, and we will stop emailing and calling if you or someone could help us with this. I contacted our Governor in the beginning of the week and now I am again. I don’t know who else to contact in the situation. I just need temporary assistance while my job is extremely slow.
    Again, ALL WE NEED IS OUR PIN NUMBERS RESET.. IF YOU ARE IN THE SAME BOAT, RESPOND HERE. Btw, an agent told me that I have “Balls” to contact our Governor regarding this situation. It was unprofessional and very rude. I am very dissappointed in our our State helping us right now. Disheartened and realizing , they can’t help us. We are on our own.

    • Stephanie.

      I can understand your situation. Unfortunately, there’s not much one can do at this time. Please be patient and keep trying at regular intervals.

  11. Susan. I recently applied and was approved for SS benefits to start late July. I was also just told by my company that we should file for short-term disability. Can I do that? And if I do start the process for unemployment benefits, where do I let them know I will be receiving SS benefits in July. How does this affect anything if at all?

    • Frederick,

      We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly.

      Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

  12. I am on SSDI and have been working part time for over a year now. The company is temporarily closed due to Corona Virus. Do I qualify for any unemployment benefits since I am on disability?

  13. I had a prior account in my maiden name. I accidentally created a new account in my married name. My account(s) are locked. I don’t remember login or security info for maiden name account. The lines are backed up. Help? Ive sent 2 emails and been repetitively calling.

    • Sarah,

      Please wait. The Unemployment Office will take some time to respond as it is dealing with a sudden spike in applications.

  14. I have read all the postings and the answers they are receiving back. These people and myself are hoping to find answers on their filling for unemployment. CLEARLY the frustrations are they can not call to get help needed because the lines are busy the entire day. Another issue my be they are having troubles with online submitting.
    Im seeing their help questions as being answered as SAM SAYS ” we are sorry for the inconvenience… $*@* ect ect please call the claims # to get help or go online.
    Now I ask how is this helping anyone ?
    It’s NOT. Where or how do we get help because many are needing help now to get
    unemployment benefits filed so they can get a paycheck soon. I don’t find the system very easy to use to accomplish this.
    Many have questions and HOW DO WE GET HELP with filling ??

  15. Just a quick question for a friend. He has been a driver for Goodwill industries for over two years. He just sent me a text stating he just received his layoff notice. He asked for unemployment information and was advised Goodwill industries is exempt. This is California where everyone is sheltered in place until April 6 and possibly much longer. I am pretty sure Goodwill is exempt but I thought I would ask. He cannot afford rent for his family now.

    • Rick,

      We don’t know if the industry he works in is exempt. Please ask him to visit the Unemployment Office website and apply.

  16. I’ve called local offices i’ve sent emails and called dozens of times a day and the calls get rejected. I am out of work due to this virus and the website is not allowing me access to file a claim. it keeps telling me I need to call. HELP! this is ridiculous you guy need to step up!

  17. As far as partial unemployment goes, if I work 32 hours in a week am I eligible for partial unemployment and will I be paid for the 8 hrs I didn’t work? FYI I am also considered salary and was told by my manager to not come into work tomorrow because there is no work for tomorrow. So I worked a normal 8hrs the other 4 days but am off the one day. Please elaborate and Thank You

    • Kevin,

      You can be eligible to claim partial UI benefits for any reduction in the hours. Please consider applying.

  18. Am I reading this correctly. I live in the state of NJ and want to make sure that the employer is responsible for opening a partial unemployment benefit. Is this correct?

  19. I am being laid off due to the coronavirus. I live in FL, work from home and the company I work for is in Kansas. Do I file unemployment in FL or KS

  20. I filed for Florida UI and its been over a week. It says my identity needs to be verified over the phone, however, when I call it tells me they are not taking calls at the time and hangs up. NOW, when I call, it rings once and hangs up! When is something going to be done or said about this?! I understand they are busy but this has to be acknowledged somehow either on their website or via email.

    • Sofia,

      Considering the pandemic situation, the Unemployment Office may be severely short-staffed. Please try the website.

  21. What form or website do I need to use to apply for unemployment claims if my job laid me off due to the coronavirus?

    • Antoine,

      We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly.

      Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

  22. I have always worked atleast one job if not two up until 7 2018, from Sept 2018 until 7-2019 I was self employeed and since than from 7-19 to current have been employed my question is the company I work for now has shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic so no income is coming in at the moment because I am only not working because of whats going on can I get unemployment. I understand the whole base period however times being what they is there any exceptions being made. Or different form I should be filling out I was told I don’t qualify, is there no exception?

    • Candy,

      We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly.

      Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

  23. Dixie Schmidt,I am wondering if I can apply for unemployment. I am 72 and work part time in a home taking care of 2 ladies that need assistance and now because of corona virus I am laid off. I am also on social security. Can I still apply?

    • Dixie,

      We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly.

      Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

  24. The UIA application is not an easy system and causing much delay and great confusion. I have submitted everything that I could, and the system seems to not be helping me finalize my unemployment. My financial situation is becoming more and more dire, and the unemployment system is acting more of a barrier than a support system. I am eligible for unemployment for state law, and have hit a road block with no way to resolve the roadblock. How can I overcome this confusion?

    • Logan,

      We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly.

      Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

  25. Hello my funds haved ran out. Trying to get a extension but your calls are not going trough been trying for days to get a line in being calling nonstop are y’all not receiving any calls or can I do it online if can do it online let me know how thanks

    • Gustavo,

      We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly.

      Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

  26. does anyone know how to reset or delete your login for the unemployment application? i think i have may entered something wrong and i cannot get past a certain page to finish my application

  27. I just applied Monday for benefits for reduced hours because of the corona virus and now I have been laid off. I don’t know how to make the changes. Can I get some help please?

    • Sheila,

      We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly.

      Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

  28. If I worked in two different states during my standard base year, how do I file for unemployment? If I only file with my current employer, I don’t have enough hours accumulated to qualify yet. Can I file in two states at the same time? Thanks!

    • Sara,

      You will not be able to file in two different states. Please consider applying from the state where your last employment was based.

  29. I have been trying to file for unemployment in the state of Florida what is the www I am a senior and not computer savvy.

    • Catherine,

      We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly.

      Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

  30. Need help filling unemployment I have called the 800 939 6631 unemployment number 300 times in turning to file on line it no ask me for a pun which I setup on the 800 935 9815. It tell me to call 877 915 6400

    • Diane,

      We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly.

      Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

  31. I worked in California for 10 months last year (jan-oct). Then worked in New jersey from Jan-March 2020. I am back in California but my start date for my new job in CA is postponed indefinitely due to corona virus. Am I eligible for unemployment since I am unable to start my new job? Would I apply in CA since that is where the majority of my work was done for the base period? Or NJ since my most recent job was in NJ? I left that job in NJ for this job in CA so my separation from the NJ position was my choice, however, I am unable to start work in CA due to the virus.

    • Sean,

      We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly.

      Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

  32. My name is Sam V of Houston, Texas.

    I have quite few of friends (more than a dozen), who are very limited in English. Can I file the unemployment on line for all of them? (as an agent). If yes, can I use my e-mail address for all of them?

  33. I live in California and have been working over 20+ plus years. In September of 2019, I was laid off. Currently my unemployment was maximized (26 Weeks), is there any way of an extension? No one is picking up and there is no way on extending my benefits online as were I can see. Please help!

    • Mick,

      We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly.

      Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

  34. I am a home based operation in Florida, my employer is a Virginia based company who due to the virus has just laid me off.
    Do I put an application with Virginia’s System or Florida’s Offices.

    • Marty,

      We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly.

      Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

  35. I have been trying for 2 straight days to apply, I was laid off due to the coronavirus pandemic, I have called 1866 500 0017 around 200 times, the website won’t let me file a claim, it keeps sending me in a circle, it brought up information from 2014 2015 from a previous, I have bills coming due and I can’t reach anyone or find any information on line to help, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated

  36. i need help filing a claim.i just moved from south dakota to colorado for a job and now have been laid off
    due to the corona virus and colorado says i have to file in south dakota and im not sure how to do that. ive tried to call and get a busy signal

    • Ed,

      We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly.

      Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

  37. i have 2 jobs and have laid off 1 because of the shutdown. Can i collect unemployment for the job i was laid off from because my second job help me paid my bills too.

    • Zonnika,

      We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly.

      Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

  38. If you are collecting a pension but working full-time and get laid off, can you apply for UI benefits?

  39. Keep getting errors while trying to continue with my application and cannot get through on the phone. This is my first time doing this.
    Your MiWAM account is currently locked. Please contact customer service at 1-866-500-0017.

    • Nikki,

      The phone lines may be busy considering the pandemic situation. Please try finding an answer online, on the department’s website.

  40. I need help filing I know my security question but not my password it won’t let me enter a security answer I live in Nevada and I’m looking to reset the password I can’t get threw on the phone at all so frustrating.

  41. I am having difficulty getting a form online. I called the 800 number, which referred me to the internet. Been there done that, and I still can’t get forms to fill out. HELP!!!

  42. I am unable to get into my current account and it wont let me update or create a new one, so I am not receiving benefits or working at this time, I can not get through on the phone I just need someone to reset my account.

  43. I am a resident of New Hampshire and employed in Massachusetts. In which state do I file?
    March 16, 2020 was the first day that I was requested not to come to work and have not worked since then. The day care business I worked for has been closed by the state because of the virus. I have not filed yet because I just found out that I could as I am standby and my husband has been in Massachusetts General Hospital since March 13, 2020 so I have been rather preoccupied.
    1.Which state should I file in on line?
    2.Which date do I use to apply for benefits?

    • Sylvia,

      1) Please apply from the state where your employment was based.
      2) You will not be able to backdate the application date.

  44. If I temporarily left my grocery store cashier job due to the fear of contacting COVID-19 since I was in contact with probably over 250 customers during my shifts which gave me such anxiety, am I able to apply for unemployment until the threat is over?

    • Nancy,

      We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly.

      Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

  45. I can not reach anyone over the phone and my account is “not authorized to log in” and need help from security help desk. Please help

  46. i have been approved for 6 weeks because of covid 19 i am a server how do they determine what i can collect dose it include the tips shown on my paystubs?

    • Carla,

      This phone support might not be available. Please try finding an answer on the Unemployment Office website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
https://fileunemployment.org