An involuntary reduction in work always constitutes a serious issue. You will want to review your benefit plans as soon as possible to note how this reduction in work will affect your health and retirement benefits.
If the decrease in workload pertains to a disability, you may wish to read the Disability Life Event page. If, on the other hand, unemployment is due to other factors, such as being laid off, you will need to plan accordingly.
- Review Health and Security Plan eligibility requirements. If your Dollar Bank balance is less than the minimum required to maintain coverage, you may elect to self-pay on a monthly basis to stay covered under the continuing coverage provision for up to 18 months. There is also a Self-Contribution program available for six months of coverage at a lower rate than COBRA, provided you meet the program requirements. The six-month period may be extended for an additional six months if approved by the Trustees.
- Review the Retirement Plan vesting requirements. If you are not vested and work less than 500 hours of service in a calendar year, you incur a one-year break in service. If you are not vested in this plan and have five consecutive one-year breaks in service, you incur a permanent break in service and all credited service and any monthly benefit earned from that credited service are forfeited. The plan has two ways to avoid a break in service. Learn more.
- Unemployment Insurance – Apply immediately. If you delay, you can potentially lose weeks of unemployment insurance benefits.
- Your Health – Be careful about maintaining your psychological and physical health during your period of unemployment. Make sure you get the support of your family and friends.
- Credit Cards – Don't use your credit cards unless you absolutely have to. Until you are re-employed, you may become unable to make the monthly payments. The added worries of accumulated debt or bad credit will make it harder for you to concentrate on getting another job.
- Bills – You can contact your creditors such as credit cards companies and banks and let them know your situation. Some of them may arrange with you for reduced payments for some period of time while you are looking for work.
- Retirement Savings – If you have any retirement savings in 401k or IRA accounts, resist the temptation to access them while you are unemployed. There are severe tax penalties which may apply if you withdraw funds from these accounts before you reach the designated age.