Tips for Ensuring Your Family’s Security After Your Benefit Period Ends in Georgia

Georgia Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits can help you for a short time if you are a qualifying beneficiary who is currently out of work. However, Georgia unemployment benefits can run out before new work is found. If you are a former Unemployment Insurance beneficiary, and your benefit period has ended, then you may be wondering how you can ensure your family’s financial security and wellbeing, now that you are no longer receiving monetary assistance through UI. There are several forms of assistance for which your family and you may qualify after your UI benefits have run their course. Assistance programs can help you financially, as well as with specific needs, such as energy bill assistance or discounted child care. There are also other methods you can use to boost the financial security of your family after losing your UI benefits. Below are some tips to help you stay financially stable once your UI payments have stopped.

Apply for Cash Assistance in Georgia

When your Georgia UI benefit period ends, you may qualify for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) through the Division of Family and Children Services. In order to qualify for Georgia TANF benefits, your total family income must be lower than the required amount, which changes annually. If your family qualifies for TANF benefits, then you will be given monetary assistance each month. You can use the money received through TANF to purchase necessities for your family.

Apply for Food Assistance in Georgia

You can also maintain your family security after your Georgia UI benefits expire by applying for Georgia food assistance. Food assistance in Georgia is available through the Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is simply known as the Food Stamps Program in Georgia. If you are a low-income single mother, then you may also qualify for the Georgia Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).

The state of Georgia also provides food assistance through the Federal Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). TEFAP food is distributed through local food banks and soup kitchens. You may visit any local food bank, soup kitchen or food pantry to get nutritious food for your family if you are unable to afford necessary foods.

Apply for Subsidized Child Care or Head Start in Georgia

Child care is essential if you are still searching for work in Georgia. You must be able to leave your children in capable hands, but affording child care when you are unemployed may be difficult. The Child Care and Parent Services (CAPS) program may provide subsidized child care for your children if you meet the qualifications necessary. In order to qualify for CAPS child care, your family must fit into an accepted category. For example, if you are already collecting Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits, then your children may be eligible for care through CAPS. CAPS also gives priority enrollment to low-income families, minors with children, children with special needs, and other family groups needing special assistance.

The state of Georgia also offers educational Head Start and Early Head Start programs in which you can enroll your children if they are 5 years of age or younger, provided there is an opening available at your local Head Start location. You must meet the income requirement of your local program in order to qualify. If the program is full at the time of your application, you can request to have your name placed on a waiting list.

Apply for Energy Assistance in Georgia

Another way to keep your family secure after your Georgia UI benefit period ends is to reduce your home energy costs by applying for energy assistance. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is the national program for home energy assistance. In Georgia, it is known as EAP, or the Energy Assistance Program. EAP can provide you with reduced energy bills if you qualify for the program. The State Median Income (SMI) is used to determine EAP eligibility. Your family income must be lower than 60 percent of the SMI in order for you to qualify for EAP benefits. The SMI is updated annually.

In addition to EAP, you can also apply for the Georgia Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) through the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority. WAP is a program that can reduce your home energy costs and give your family more financial security by increasing the energy efficiency in your home. In addition, the WAP program can correct issues in your home that may cause safety hazards. Such corrections will prevent you from having hazard-related medical bills.

Expand Your Search for Work Opportunities in Georgia

When your Georgia UI benefits have ended, you should also expand your search for work opportunities in order to help guarantee your family’s security. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program provides some work-search assistance. You can also contact local temp agencies, or take on a part-time job, such as becoming a personal driver or a pet sitter in order to stay financially stable after your Georgia benefit period ends, and until you can find full-time employment.

While expanding your Georgia work search, you must look for special grants for which you may qualify, as well. Grants may help you start your own business or obtain training necessary to get a new job. You may also qualify for free or discounted seminars or classes to increase your professional training and improve your chances of finding Georgia work quickly.