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Help available as COVID-19 pandemic strains finances

 The coronavirus scare has had a huge impact on the job market and furloughed workers are facing an uncertain financial future.
The coronavirus scare has had a huge impact on the job market and furloughed workers are facing an uncertain financial future. (WOWT)
Published: Apr. 9, 2020 at 6:57 PM CDT
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The coronavirus scare has had a huge impact on the job market and furloughed workers are facing an uncertain financial future.

But as the bills pile up, there is relief available.

"No one has seen it like this before… this is a completely unique situation."

Lex Ann Roach is the regional manager for the Nebraska Department of Labor.

Her staff at the Fort Omaha Metro Campus helped nearly 70 jobless workers file for unemployment benefits today alone.

"Folks really want to get their filings done and move on.”

Unemployment benefits may cover some but not all expenses for those finding themselves out of work.

Jon Firmature with non-profit credit advisors says there are ways to help the newly unemployed make ends meet.

"You're going to get the stimulus check… obviously that's going to be profitable. If you have a steady income it's not going to affect you. But it's the ones that are affected that I think it's going to be a big deal. You need to make sure you get your priorities right.”

“Which bills do you need to pay? The house is probably going to be the first thing. If I have to miss a car payment? Working with OPPD and MUD is starting to do stuff that can help you. They're not going to shut off any of your stuff right now. The biggest thing is to contact those creditors… find out what they have available and what you can do."

Firmature says credit card companies have finally come around to reduce rates for customers… if you contact them.

Roach says those filing for unemployment are mainly first-timers and Nebraska's traditionally had low numbers of those filing for benefits.

"Right now we have people that have some concerns but very hopeful and optimistic that their claims are going to come through and that things are going to work out."

Roach says those filing for unemployment can also get information concerning other state services that can help get through this tough time.

Firmature says people who are overly concerned about their financial situation should contact a credit associate for other possible options.

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