What to Do When Your Unemployment Benefits Are Ending Soon

Unemployment can be stressful, and the uncertainty of finding a new job before your benefits run out can add another layer of worry. Unemployment benefits are a temporary safety net designed to bridge the gap between jobs. The exact duration varies by state, typically lasting up to 26 weeks. While extensions may be available during economic downturns, benefits can still run out before you find new employment.

This blog will equip you with strategies for managing your finances and exploring options for continued income when your unemployment benefits end.

Strategizing Your Next Steps Before Your Unemployment Benefits End

  • Pursue Extended Unemployment Benefits

Start by contacting your state’s unemployment office to ensure you receive all the benefits for which you qualify. During high unemployment, the federal government may pass legislation providing additional financial aid to unemployed individuals. A good example is the CARES Act implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Check your state’s unemployment office website or the U.S. Department of Labor website for updates on any available federal extensions. Each state has its program with specific eligibility requirements based on the current unemployment rate. Your state’s unemployment office can explain the rules and how to apply if needed.

  • Preparing Your Budget for the Transition

As unemployment benefits close, you must reassess your finances and create a bare-bones budget. Identify areas where you can lower discretionary spending, such as entertainment, dining out, non-essential groceries, gym memberships, and cable TV. Every little bit helps. Aim to save even a small amount from your unemployment benefits. It will create a financial cushion to help you bridge the gap between ending benefits and finding a new job.

  • Financial Solutions for Independent Workers

For gig workers facing the end of unemployment benefits, exploring gig workers loans can provide temporary relief while searching for new income opportunities. Depending on your financial situation and credit history, credit card cash advances, payday loans, and personal loans are potential options. While gig loans can provide immediate assistance, they must be used judiciously and repaid promptly to avoid long-term debt.

  • Engage in Proactive Dialogue with Creditors

Many creditors are willing to work with individuals facing temporary financial hardship. Contact your credit card companies, mortgage lenders, or auto loan providers to discuss your situation. They may be able to offer a temporary payment plan with reduced monthly payments to help you manage your bills.

Don’t be afraid to contact your utility companies, phone, or internet service providers. Many offer programs for low-income individuals or temporary assistance during difficult times.

  • Stay Apprised and Embrace Job-Seeking Support

Staying informed about government programs, job opportunities, and economic trends is essential for navigating the job market effectively. Keep up with local news, government announcements, and updates from unemployment agencies to stay informed about available resources and assistance programs.

Even if you no longer qualify for unemployment benefits, your local unemployment office may offer free workshops on interview skills, resume writing, and navigating online job boards.

  • Explore Flexible Work Options for Supplementary Income

While finding your ideal full-time job is the ultimate goal, don’t discount the benefits of part-time, temporary, or gig work. Taking on temporary or part-time work shows potential employers you’re actively engaged in the workforce and keeps your resume current with relevant experience.

  • Investigate Diverse Aid Channels for Financial Support

If your savings and unemployment benefits aren’t enough, explore additional financial assistance programs. Many government programs exist to help with rent, mortgages, food stamps, and childcare while you search for work. Local resources like food pantries and non-profit organizations can also offer support. Don’t hesitate to utilize the national 2-1-1 Call Center to connect with a wide range of resources in your community, from housing assistance to job training and support groups.


Running out of unemployment benefits can be daunting, but remember, it’s not a dead end. Utilize the resources outlined in this guide – from exploring extended benefits to seeking financial assistance programs – to manage your finances effectively. Most importantly, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.  Government agencies, non-profit organizations, and even your local unemployment office offer many resources to help you with your job search and financial well-being.

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