For the vast majority of Americans, working for a living is not just a necessity, but our preference. Despite what politicians may claim, the vast majority of people out there really do want to make it on their own. They might need a helping hand from time to time, though. There are numerous options available to help provide income while you find employment, to help offset the costs of employment-related training, and more.
Important Things to Understand First
There’s a great deal of misinformation out there concerning grants and free money available from the government in relation to employment and training. It’s important that you go into the process with your eyes open. Here are some of the most essential things to understand:
•The federal government does not offer employment or employment-related training grants to individuals. The federal government makes funds available to the states, which then dole that money out to counties and individual municipalities.
•In addition to state, county, and city governments, many private organizations receive money from the federal government for use in employment-related situations, such as providing training.
•You will not personally see funding to pay for employment-related training or to supplement your income during training with the exception of unemployment.
•Unemployment benefits can be applied for through your county government. If you are not sure how to contact the correct department, you can use this online locator to find the office and appropriate information.
•The federal government offers a broad range of tools that you can use to help find employment in your chosen field. You’ll discover nine such tools here.
Help for the Self-Employed
In the past, if you were self-employed and lost your job, you were simply out of luck. Unemployment benefits were available for regular payroll employees, but not for those who operated their own business. Today, that’s not the case. There is a federally-administered self-employment assistance program that is designed to offer the same weekly payments to self-employed professionals as they would receive through the regular unemployment program.
•What Does It Do?
This program provides self-employed professionals with income while they attempt to find new employment. It is also designed to help dislocated workers create their own jobs and begin small businesses. Note that the funds from this program are given to states, not to individuals, so you’ll need to contact your State Workshop Agency.
•Who Is Eligible?
In order to qualify for this program, you must meet the eligibility requirements for standard unemployment benefits. You must also be deemed likely to exhaust your regular unemployment benefits (if you were previously a payroll employee rather than a self-employed professional). Note that many self-employed professionals can qualify for this program even while working, so long as they are completing training or business counseling.•Are There Limitations on Fund Usage?The funds from this program can be used for anything that your normal wages would be used to pay, including bills, mortgage payments, buying groceries, etc.•How Much Is Available in Grants?The amount provided through this program is based on your previous earning capacity and delivers a percentage of your normal salary. Note that it does not pay the full amount of your previous earnings.•What Are the Limitations and Terms?You must meet your state’s eligibility requirements for unemployment benefits.•How Do You Apply for This Grant?To apply for this program, you’ll need to contact your state’s unemployment insurance agency. If you are not sure where the office is located or how to contact the organization, you can use the online locator here. However, note that not all states offer access to this program.Free Training with CareerOneStop.orgFor those seeking employment training in order to move up to a better job, the prospects of paying for an education while also upholding your other financial responsibilities can be daunting. CareerOneStop.org was designed to help offset these challenges. The point of the website is simple –it offers access to low-cost or free training programs for those who qualify.Who qualifies for this program?Actually, quite a few people can use the funding offered. For instance, veterans, those laid off from a previous job, SNAP enrollees, and others can find help to pay for their training. Anyone who has completed the FAFSA can also use this website to apply for grants and other financial tools, as well. Through this organization, aspiring learners can apply for financial aid such as the Pell Grant.Note that in most instances, you do not receive the funding directly. Instead, any funds for training or education go to the school or training provider. In some cases, the funds may only cover a portion of the costs involved and you will be responsible for paying the remainder.Finding a New JobThere are also sites where you can search to find a new job or career that’s right for you. Simply fill out your info for a way that Employers will contact you instead of you having to search through hundreds of listings.