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Some tips if you lose a job, Part 1

Losing a job is difficult. You face a crisis of confidence, a sudden loss of income, and extreme uncertainty. No one likes being fired, it is incredibly overwhelming. Unfortunately, losing your job isn't all on your employer. You also have some responsibilities or risk losing access to some of your rights. This post will go over some tips.

First and foremost, always make sure that you receive your last paycheck from your employer. You are always entitled to a final paycheck (and maybe severance if it is in your contract). State law varies but generally your employer must issue your final check immediately or within a few days.

Second, file for unemployment. You need to immediately replace your work income. Unemployment benefits will partially replace your income and keep you in your home for a while. Moreover, you are generally entitled to unemployment so long as you didn't quit and you weren't fired for misconduct that was deliberate and intentional (i.e. harassment or theft from the company).

After you get unemployment, file for continued health coverage. For many families, healthcare is one of the most expensive bills for a family. You can file for continued coverage under COBRA which allows you to continue the same policy for up to 18 months. You are required to pay the premium however it is reduced to the employer cost.

Next, prepare you resume for a new job. Hopefully you keep an updated resume as you work but if you don't, now is the time to update it with the skills you acquired at your latest job.

If you recently lost a job under suspicious circumstances, then you may want to speak to an employment attorney. Even when you are fired from a job, you are still entitled to your rights. That includes being fired for the right reasons, enforcement of your employment contract (assuming you have one), and respecting your retirement. A lawyer can help ensure that you receive all of your benefits and that you were treated properly during your termination.

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