When you’re unemployed, the weight of financial hardship can add up quickly. When you are looking at your bills and realize you can’t make ends meet, it is hard to know where to turn for help. Luckily, there are a variety of programs available to help make managing the tasks more manageable. To help you understand the options available to you, here are some details about programs to check into in your area.
One of the first places to seek help when you are unemployed is through the Newstart Allowance program offered through the Australian government. You may be eligible for funds if you are over 22 years of age, but not yet a pensioner, currently looking for work, meet income and asset tests, and are able to meet Mutual Obligation Requirements. Your payment rate varies depending on your unique circumstances, but the funds can be used for managing costs including paying your bills.
In cases where those payments aren’t enough, you may also qualify for additional assistance through local government organizations or through a crisis program, if you qualify.
Charities and Nonprofits
Another source of assistance for paying bills may be local charity organizations or other nonprofits. Depending on your situation they may provide emergency advances or loans for unemployed people. Often, these groups are founded based on the idea of helping those in crisis, and sudden unemployment may qualify as such as situations. Assistance may be provided as cash funds that can be directed as you see fit, while others will provide money straight to the bills that you are struggling to pay.
It is important to note that each group has their own standards regarding who can receive assistance and how it is provided, so the requirements set in one place may not match those set by another. Additionally, even if you qualify, there is no guarantee the charity will have the funds available to provide.
Sometimes, assistance may be available directly from the people or entities you owe. For example, utility companies may have funds to help those dealing with a financial hardship, or traditional creditors may have options to skip a single payment in light of a crisis. To find out if options are available, you will need to contact them directly. However, it is important to note that they are also under no obligation to provide assistance even if your need is great.
Friends and Family
Sometimes, the easiest place to find assistance is friends and family. While it isn’t an easy topic to broach, you won’t have to worry about meeting income requirements to qualify. Additionally, those to whom you are closest often have a vested interest in your financial security and general happiness, meaning they may be more willing to assist even if your financial means are limited. Further, they have the option of gifting the funds, eliminating any repayment concerns such as those that would come with a traditional loan.
However, it is very important to clarify any repayment expectations before you accept the funds. Otherwise, any confusion could strain the relationship, possibly irreparably. So, make sure everyone is on the same page from the beginning to avoid unnecessary difficulties down the road.