Unemployment Benefits Exhausted. What Next?

Updated : January 17th, 2022

unemployment benefits exhausted. what next?

Unemployment Benefits in the States has been instrumental in helping many families navigate through financial hardship caused due to job loss. Over 6.3 million people benefited from these benefits during the pandemic. As the economy slowly picks up, many people will find work, but many sectors are still struggling.

As people are on the verge of running out of their 26-week unemployment benefit period, they are anxiously looking for options to get some respite. This article will throw some light on the options available for people on the brink of exhausting their unemployment benefits. 

Here is the list of other government benefits programs that could be helpful:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program:
    Widely known as the food stamps program, the SNAP or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program can help you with your groceries.
  • Women, Infants and Children Program:
    If you have an infant or if someone is pregnant or breastfeeding in your house, you can apply for this program. Under this, you get coupons for specific dairy products and foods.
  • Medicaid:
    If you have a young child or your income is low, you can apply for this program to get health insurance benefits.
  • Social Security Program:
    If you are above the age of 62, you can apply for this program and get early retirement benefits. Check out your state guidelines to know more about the eligibility of this program.

How to certify for the remaining benefits?

If you believe that you qualify for the PUA and PEUC programs and never filed any claim, you still have time to do the same. The States government has opened a 30-day window to accept new applications for PUA and PEUC. 

The long-term unemployed workers may also be eligible for PEUC. The extended benefits will be available for 13 weeks to Connecticut, New Jersey, and New Mexico residents. However, they differ from PEUC. You may need to apply separately for your state’s new program. For specific information, you can check your state’s labor department website. 

How to cope up with the lesser income and how to manage expenses?

Managing expenses is challenging when you are unemployed and your UI benefits are also exhausted. There are many ways to reduce expenses and cope with having less income. You can follow these simple steps to save money easily:

  • Budget wisely
    Before the benefits expire, grab your household balance sheet and plan. Start by making a list of your monthly expenses. Then, try to find things you can trim from your life, such as shopping or dining out, and prioritize spending on necessities.
  • Save on utility bills.
    There are ways to lower utility costs. Replace incandescent bulbs with LEDs. Install a programmable thermostat in the house to save on heating and cooling costs. Check out leaky faucets or toilets and repair them to save on utility bills.
  • Freeze your credit cards
    Credit cards are one of the most convenient ways of spending money, which can also be considered their chief drawback. Since it’s easy to purchase through cards, most people end up spending money on impulse purchases and get into debt.

Steps to follow when Unemployment benefits end

If your unemployment benefits are about to be exhausted, here’s what you can do: 

  • Save money
    Trim your expenses and put that money in a savings account. Look out for the accounts best for your financial situation. This way, you can save money, and it will be less tempting to spend. Meanwhile, if you put the money in your savings account, it will compound and grow.
  • Search for a job
    According to the Department of Labor, this year’s job openings reached an all-time high of 10 million. So, consider expanding your network of contacts to learn about future opportunities.
  • Know about the UI programs
    If your unemployment benefits program has expired, there are other programs that you could explore, such as the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, State’s Extended Benefits (EB) program.


What happens when you run out of unemployment benefits?

Those who run out of PEUC weeks and standard unemployment benefits may be eligible for an extended benefits program funded by the federal government. At this time, this scheme is available in 42 states. 

Why are unemployment benefits ending?

The U.S government has claimed that the residents were not taking the jobs they were eligible for and preferred to collect unemployment benefits instead. This is why they decided to end the unemployment benefits. 

When does the unemployment extension end?

Each state has its specific guidelines for unemployment benefits. So, check out the guidelines for your area of residence for detailed information. 

In what states are unemployment benefits still available?

These are the states where UI benefits are available: Alabama, Arizona, California (only regular state benefits), Connecticut, Delaware, Washington, D.C, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.

Are UI Benefits extendable?

The essential unemployment benefits can only be extended for 13 additional weeks when the state is experiencing very high unemployment. However, not everyone qualifies for extended unemployment benefits. You can contact your state agency to know the eligibility requirements for extended benefits.

Will the PUA and UI Benefits be back?

The government of the U.S. has revoked the pandemic unemployment assistance, and it isn’t confirmed whether they will be back. So we recommend you to check out for other options. 

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