Displaced Workers Assistance

Surviving a Layoff

If you or a family member is facing a job loss, here are some tips and resources to help you take the necessary steps to get back on your feet.
  • Remember, you are not alone and there are solutions.
  • Discuss the situation with your family. Discussing creative ways to reduce your spending is important so your entire family takes part in finding a solution. Communicating Job Loss to Family Members.
  • Meet with your employer’s Human Resources representative to make sure you know all your options. Some questions you may want to ask are:
    • Will I receive severance pay?
    • Will I receive payment for unused vacation or personal days?
    • What options do I have in regards to my retirement plan(s)?
    • Am I vested in my retirement plan?
    • Am I eligible to continue medical benefits?
    • Are any services available to assist with my job search?
    • NC state employees can visit the Office of State Personnel website for more information regarding benefit options.
  • Review your financial situation. Resources are available to help you evaluate your situation and determine next steps.
    • Contact your Human Resources Department for information about
      your Employee Assistance Program.
    • Visit IRS.GOV for tax related tips on surviving an economic downturn. 
  • File for unemployment. The North Carolina Department of Commerce Division of Employment Security provides three methods for individuals to file a claim for unemployment insurance benefits. Visit www,des.nc.gov/des for information.
  • Visit the Office of State Personnel's website for additional tips for coping with job loss.
Finding a Job
The current economy has made finding a job difficult, but not impossible. Here are a few tips to consider when conducting your job search.
  • Update your resume. It is imperative that you stand out among the pool of qualified candidates.
  • Consider a career change. Broaden the scope of your search and utilize career counselors or online assessments to determine what fields may be of interest to you.
  • Mobilize your resources. Consider enlisting the help of others through social networking to assist with everything from personal references to career coaching.
  • Invest in yourself. When you’ve identified a potential career path, evaluate your current skill set, identify any areas you’re lacking and research opportunities to improve those areas.
  • Be creative in your job search. Be willing to think creatively and inquire with companies you would like to work for that might not advertise openings. Use a company’s website to search career opportunities rather than relying solely on search engines.
  • Make it a job. Don’t allow yourself the luxury of pursuing a new position casually; rather, treat your search as a job in itself. Remember to keep receipts for anything purchased that can be attributed to your job search – in many cases your job search expenses may be tax deductible.
  • Practice your interviewing skills. Not only is it important to consider how you will respond to interview questions, it is equally important to sharpen your conversational skills. 

Budgeting in Financial Crisis
When you have experienced a job loss, it is important to make some significant albeit temporary changes in your spending. There are resources available to help you through this process.

  • Utilize free web based resources at mint.com or to assist you with establishing and maintaining a budget and reducing discretionary spending.
  • Contact your utilities providers (electricity, gas, water, telephone, and internet) to discuss options for reducing your bills.
  • Visit your local Department of Social Services to find out if you qualify for any free or low cost services.
  • If you find yourself falling behind on your payments to creditors, free counseling is available to assist you in working with your creditors to get back on track

Saving Your Home
Losing a job can create a significant strain on your family's budget. If you remain unemployed for an extended period of time, maintaining the mortgage or rent payment may become a challenge. If you are having problems making your payments, there are resources available to assist you and may prevent you from losing your home.

If you are falling behind on your mortgage payment
If you need assistance or additional information, please call the HOPE hotline at 1-888-995-HOPE (4673) or visit www.995hope.org/find-help.   

If you are renting your home and having problems making your payments