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.