Coronavirus crisis: what to do if you’ve lost your job

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Not only has COVID-19 raised major health concerns in the community, it has also resulted in many negative economic impacts with self-isolation and social distancing regulations causing many to lose their jobs. While it is certainly a difficult time for those who have lost their jobs, note that there are a number of ways to minimise the personal impacts of unemployment.

Check your eligibility and claim government support

The Australian Government has released a series of coronavirus stimulus packages, each with many monetary benefits for individuals impacted negatively by COVID-19. However, there are many eligibility requirements to keep in mind when making claims for government support so be sure to check the conditions on the ATO website. As a brief summary:

  • Two separate $750 payments for social security, veteran and other income support recipients made from 31 March 2020.
  • Coronavirus supplement paid at $550 per fortnight for the next six months, available to JobSeeker Payment, Parenting Payment, Special Benefit, Youth Allowance Jobseeker and Farm Household Allowance recipients

Take care of your health

It is important to take care of both your mental and physical health when living through this pandemic. Recognise that you are not at fault for losing your job and instead focus on some brighter things in your life – a hobby that you’ve been meaning to get into, a new skill you’d like to learn or even just get some much-needed rest. Exercise is also a good way to clear your mind and destress so be sure to incorporate an exercise routine into your daily life in self-isolation.

Start a budget or financial plan

If you did not already have a budget for your financial expenses, now is the time to start. While it may be a little overwhelming at first, budgeting will allow you to take control of your life during these challenging times and will also be great for your organisation and productivity in the long-term. To be able to start saving, financial planning is an essential step and you should look to call your bank, mortgage brokers and utility providers to defer payments. Investigate your own spending habits and cancel payments wherever you can (e.g. phone subscriptions).

Stay connected with your employers and employees

Lastly, know that the world is not over and you will be able to enter the employment market once more in the future. To stay relevant in the job-hunting space, maintain contact with your past employers and employees so that referrals are possible in the future. After COVID-19 blows over, chances are that your employer may want to hire you again or even refer you to another position they know you’ll be interested in.

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