File for unemployment

This probably sounds pretty obvious to a lot of people, but if you’ve lost your job, file for unemployment benefits as soon as you are no longer working.

I’ve known a few people who’ve lost their jobs and seemed reluctant to file for unemployment benefits. They figure their financial situation is not dire and that they can get by with their savings and severance packages until they land a new gig. I’m not sure if this is a matter of pride, an inability to deal with a highly stressful situation, or pure laziness.

The fact of the matter is that if you’ve had gainful employment, then you’ve been paying for unemployment insurance directly and indirectly, and now’s the time to collect on that insurance. The benefits aren’t much; the maximum in California is $450 a week if you earned an annual salary of $47,000 or higher. But they should take the edge off your unemployed status and give you some breathing room until you find a new job that’s comparable to your old.

Benefits can start the week you are unemployed; you may not get benefits for up to one week, starting from the time you file for unemployment benefits, so you’re best off filing as soon as you can. With almost 1 in 10 workers facing unemployment, processing times can be lengthy. Again, you’re best off filing as soon as you can.

California Employment Development Department – Unemployment