Home Contributed How Michigan Residents Can Better Handle Their Finances During This Pandemic
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How Michigan Residents Can Better Handle Their Finances During This Pandemic

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People in Michigan are starting to feel the financial implications of the Coronavirus epidemic. The recent lockdown has caused more businesses to shut their doors temporarily, leaving any people laid off from work. As the situation worsens, many people are stocking up on supplies and trying to figure out how to pay their bills. It’s important for Michiganders to have a long term strategy for the days ahead. Here’s how Michigan residents help keep themselves more financially secure during this pandemic.

Unemployment

If you have been laid off or gotten sick because of COVID-19, you can be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. The State Unemployment Office is extending benefits for those who are quarantined or taking care of family members that are ill. Those who are self-employed can also receive access to benefits. It’s best to fill out an application online because the office is being flooded with calls due to all the recent layoffs. This can help you sustain some type of income until the crisis is abated.

According to the Families First Coronavirus Act signed on March 18 of this year, short term paid sick leave benefits and long term family leave may be available for certain eligible workers. According to the law, employers are supposed to provide up to two weeks of fully paid sick leave immediately for those unable to work because of the coronavirus. There are certain restrictions for who is eligible, so you’ll need to contact the state office for more information.

To file a claim online, you’ll need to have your driver’s license and Social Security numbers. You’ll also need to provide the names and addresses of all the employers you’ve worked for in the last 18 months, along with quarterly gross earnings and your last date of employment for each job. Michigan unemployment benefits have been extended to 26 weeks during this pandemic. The state has also expanded a program for business owners to avoid layoffs. Employers can scale back the number of hours an employee can work and have unemployment insurance make up the difference in pay.

Social Security Benefits

If you’ve been granted Temporary Disability benefits, you’re entitled to receive about two-thirds of your weekly pay. Those who are receiving benefits will not see an interruption with their checks as many of the offices close. Even when they are closed to the public, the staff is available for you to call if you’re facing an emergency situation. You can call if you haven’t received your payment or if you need to get your benefits reinstated. If you need to apply for benefits, you can do so online.

Ask For Local Assistance

If you’re struggling financially, you can ask for assistance through many of the local programs that are available throughout Michigan. Many of these programs are providing help with utility payments, food, childcare, and grocery deliveries. You can get a list of available resources in your county by calling 2-1-1. You can even get free Internet access for a couple of months if you’re a low-income family through Charter Communications, Comcast, and AT&T.

You may also want to check out and join local Facebook groups in your area. There are many volunteers who are willing to go grocery shopping for seniors and other vulnerable adults. You can also get help with supplies such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and other household goods. Many Michigan schools are making sure children get nutritious meals delivered to their doorsteps so they don’t go hungry. There are also several fast-food restaurants that are providing kids with free meals during certain hours.

Housing Expenses

A number of state and federal orders and programs are giving homeowners and renters some relief on their mortgage payments. Foreclosures and evictions have ceased for the next 60 days. If you’re struggling to make your mortgage payments, it’s important to contact your loan provider as soon as possible for forbearance. Some loan providers are suspending mortgage payments for a brief period of time.

If you can afford it, now would be a great time to focus on home improvements while you’re stuck at home. Landscaping alone can add up to 14% resale value for your home. While it may not be able to help you financially in the current moment, it can be incredibly valuable to you once the pandemic is over.

Find Remote Work

There are many ways that you can make money without ever having to leave your house. You can find numerous remote jobs across various industries. Some remote work opportunities that are available include writing articles, answering customer service calls, and transcription work. If you get bored, you can even make money by filling out surveys or playing games on your phone. You can even make money by renting out a spare room in your home or renting out your car.

You can also set up your own e-commerce business. Approximately 39% of all global traffic comes from search. And since many people are forced to stay at home, they are searching online for the things they need. You can help yourself stay financially secure by selling these items online.

Cut Expenses

While you’re stuck at home, it’s a good idea to take a good look at your budget and see what areas can be cut. Cancel any subscriptions you don’t use on a regular basis. Consider eliminating your gym membership since it’s going to be a while before you can go back again. Downgrade your phone plan for the time being. Make the most from items that you have in your home rather than panic buying things at the store.

In order to handle your finances efficiently during this pandemic, it’s important to remain calm and develop a long term strategy. Look for ways you can stabilize yourself during the months ahead so you can increase your financial worth instead of focusing merely on survival. By saving as much money as you can, you can make sure that you and your family are well taken care of long into the future.