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Robin's Tips for “99’ers - Those Whose Unemployment Benefits are About to Run Out
ROBIN'S PERSPECTIVE: What’s a person to do when his Unemployment Benefits are about to run out? Recent government reports indicate that the unemployment rate nationwide has actually increased to 9.8%. According to Harvard economist Dr. Lawrence Katz, that means that for every job that becomes available, about six people are looking. Here are my tips on what you can do next if you are a “99’er”: one of those individuals whose 99-weeks of Unemployment Compensation Benefits are about to run out:

Work your network. Do not be afraid to let people know you need help. Go to your church and ask the minister/leader for assistance. Perhaps someone in the congregation is looking for a good employee like you, and it just takes a connection to make this happen.

Try a SHORT-TERM, like 4-6 week, unpaid internships to try to get your foot in the door.

Go back to the days of American ingenuity, and start something of your own. Examples:

- a virtual business based upon your hobby;
- PC or technology services;
- Concierge or personal services for busy people:
- Do in-home work, like companions for ill/elderly, nanny work, house or office cleaning. Live in as an on-site handyman/caretaker.

Register with temporary employment agencies. They want people who are
immediately ready and able to be sent out on assignments.

Accept short-term consulting gigs – now that your UC benefit is gone, you don't have the same worry you had when you were getting UC benefits; namely, the risk of losing UC benefits by taking a short-term consulting engagement.

Seasonal employment – be a Santa, work for delivery services, caterers, department stores, etc. Federal & state web sites are also an overlooked, yet very good source of jobs.(For example, the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation office is hiring right now, due to a big backlog of claims.)

Join “The New Golden Girls” trend – find economies of scale by moving in with others. Pros: share expenses, get companionship, and security. Or move in with family.

Make sure you tap into all available state, federal and local resources --
see those that follow:

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

Each state has a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program (formerly called welfare). TANF can help with food stamps, financial assistance, training, and job searching. This directory, from's Guide to Single Parents Jennifer Wolf, has contact information for every state.

Food Stamps
The federal Food Stamp Program, now called Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps low income families and individuals buy food.

Medicaid provides medical benefits to low income people who have no medical insurance or have inadequate medical insurance.

WIC stands for Women, Infants, and Children. WIC is a supplemental nutrition program administered by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Additional Federal Benefit Programs
Information on federal assistance programs from Guide to US Government Info Robert Longley, including: HUD Public Housing Assistance Program, Dislocated and Laid Off Worker Program, Dislocated Worker Program, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, and health insurance programs for uninsured children.

Non-Profit and Social Services Agencies
Like Food Banks, soup kitchens, gifts for kids for Christmas, warm clothing drives, etc.

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Robin Bond
Robin Bond, Esq.
Workplace Legal Analyst

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