Five Steps You Can Take If You Do Not Qualify for Unemployment Benefits

Arizona unemployment insurance (UI) may provide you with monetary benefits if you are unemployed and meet other eligibility requirements, including restrictions based on other income sources you earn. However, there are several reasons why your unemployment benefits claim may be denied in Arizona. For example, you may have been fired from your job for reasons such as misconduct. Alternatively, you may be denied UI benefits because you may not have earned enough wages during the base period used to calculate your eligibility for Arizona UI assistance. The Arizona Department of Economic Security may also deny your unemployment benefits claim if you have exhausted your available benefits for the current time period. You may only collect unemployment benefits in AZ for a maximum of 26 weeks per 12-month benefits claim. Regardless of the reason you do not currently qualify for unemployment assistance in AZ, there are ways in which you can improve your financial situation. Below are five steps you can take which will help you if you do not qualify for unemployment benefits.

Adjust Your Weekly and Monthly Budgets

It is unlikely that you will find new work immediately after losing your job. Therefore, you must anticipate having little to no income for at least a few months if you do not qualify to collect unemployment insurance in Arizona. To compensate for your lack of work, sit down soon after your job loss and make a detailed list of your weekly and monthly monetary needs. When you have a list of what you have been spending in front of you, it will also help you to find categories where your weekly or monthly expenditures can be reduced. Eliminate any unnecessary expenses, such as going out to dinner, from your budget to give yourself a greater monetary buffer while you look for new work.

Apply for Other State-Wide Assistance Programs Available in Arizona

The AZ Cash Assistance program is administered by the Department of Economic Security, just like unemployment insurance. Even if you cannot qualify for UI, you may still be eligible for AZ Cash Assistance based on your household income level.

You may also apply for additional programs operating in Arizona that assist unemployed or low-income residents. One additional assistance program for which you may qualify is the Arizona version of federal SNAP, otherwise known as food stamps. In Arizona, the program is called Nutritional Assistance (NA). Under NA, you receive a set amount of credit that must be spent to purchase food at venues which participate in the Arizona NA program. Examples of such venues include certain grocery and convenience stores, as well as participating farmer’s markets. Having NA credits to use for food frees up more money in your budget for you to put toward paying other living expenses. You can also take advantage of other programs which will help you to reduce your monthly bills in AZ, including the Arizona Weatherization Assistance Program and the Arizona Utility Assistance Program.

Apply for Local Assistance Programs in Arizona

In addition to statewide AZ assistance programs, there are also many programs administered at the local level which can help you when you find yourself unemployed and unable to collect UI benefits. For example, there is a utility assistance program called the TEP Low Income Fund for Emergencies (LIFE) fund which may assist you if you live in Pima County, Arizona. You can contact your local Salvation Army, churches or other community charitable organizations for more information about local assistance programs you may be eligible for.

Contact Associates Who May Help You Obtain Work

Even after you reduce your monthly expenditures and apply for state and local assistance programs for which you qualify, you must still make finding work quickly your top priority. One way to increase your chances of obtaining a new job with relative ease is to take advantage of your network of contacts. Begin by contacting former coworkers at previous places of employment. Make it known to your former business associates that you are interested in any job openings which may arise within their present companies. Then, go through the same process with your personal contacts, such as friends and family members, who may be able to tell you if they hear about any open jobs in the local area.

Explore Different Part-Time Earning Opportunities

Obtaining a full-time job is not the only way you can earn an income. If you are unemployed and unable to collect Arizona unemployment insurance benefits, you must begin to explore different part-time earning opportunities that can provide you with the money you need to pay your bills in the immediate future. Depending on your background and skills you may qualify for such part-time or self-employment ventures as selling products online, providing freelance writing services or developing websites for businesses. Alternatively, you may choose to become a tutor or teach classes in an area in which you are familiar, such as dancing or playing a musical instrument. Any income source you can develop will help you until you find a new full-time position. Any part-time business venture you establish may also continue to supplement your household income even after you have obtained a new full-time job.