Being out of work is not something anyone looks forward to, save for retirement… or a chance lottery win. If you find yourself unemployed, there are certain terms you should familiarize yourself with in order to be best prepared and equipped to get back into the workforce.

These words are used by employers, agents, the Department of Labor, and others who will be involved during your time unemployed and on your way back to a new job. Hopefully, your unemployment period will be brief, but knowledge is power, so make your time fruitful by learning these terms and getting yourself out there for a fresh start.

Able and Available: When it comes to unemployment lingo, this means you must be ready to work and able to do so both mentally and physically. You must seek out work in your field to the best of your capabilities. Note: these terms are quite different when seen in an online dating profile.

Benefit: This is the amount of unemployment insurance that is paid to a claimant – the person who is seeking unemployment benefits. The money benefits you, therefore the make-sense terminology.

Benefit Year: Sorry, you won't get a full year of benefits, but instead this refers to the one-year time period starting the Monday after the week the claimant files for benefits. The claimant can receive 26 weeks of benefits. Let's hope a new job is landed before then.

Displaced Worker: A person who is 20 years or older who loses their job due to a company closing or moving or a change in company structure resulting in the abolishment of their position with the company. Don't worry, you're new place of business will come along if you keep looking.

Extended Benefits: Bingo! These are the additional weeks of benefits a claimant can get during periods of high unemployment.

Fired: A favorite term from The Apprentice, being fired means you did something wrong at work such as violating a rule or procedure, got into a dispute or fight, or were excessively absent or late for work. Next time, don't do that.

Full-Time Worker: A person who works 35 or more hours per week. Needless to say, a part-timer works less than 35 hours/week.

Job Leavers: These are the folks who quit or voluntarily leave their place of employment and begin seeking new work right away. Well, at least they made the choice to go.

Lack of Work: Some folks lose their job under a claim of "lack of work." Perhaps a division shut down, your job was seasonal, or there was a company restructure. What's lacking in one place can be strong someplace else, if you're a "glass half-full" kinda person.

Let Go: While it sounds similar to the popular song from Frozen, being "let go" means you were fired or discharged because you didn't meet performance standards or the proper qualifications or production as set forth by the employer.

Long-Term Unemployed: Still jobless after 27 weeks or more? Then you are considered "long-term unemployed." Probably not the best thing you've been called.

Mass Layoff: When 50 people or more file initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits within a 5-week period from a sole institution. Massively disruptive to that company!

Maximum Benefit Amount (MBA): The number you're hoping for – this is the highest amount a claimant is eligible to receive within the benefit year.

New Entrants: Welcome to the "real world!" These are the newbies who are joining the labor force for the very first time.

Occupational Illness: This is a sickness, condition, or disorder that resulted from being injured on the job or caused by exposure to factors that caused a disease or illness either acute or chronic. Boredom doesn't qualify.

Reason for Separation: This is why you no longer work. Perhaps you were fired, got let go, or quit. Hey, not everyone's meant to be together.

Re-certify: Each week, you need to prove that you are still unemployed yet actively looking for work. Yes, that weekly reminder is really something an unemployed person looks forward to.

Statutory Week: This is the week of a full 7 days beginning with a Monday. In case you're wondering, a regular week starts with Sunday.

Unemployment Rate: This is the number of people unemployed as a percentage of the entire labor force. Let's hope this rate goes down.

Waiting Period: No money, mo' problems. This is the unpaid time that a claimant does not begin to receive benefits. Benefits begin after a full week of unemployment. If you work at all during that week, your unpaid period will extend to the following week.

Are you currently unemployed? For information about what your next steps should be, please visit USA.gov. Here you will learn learn about apply for unemployment benefits, seek jobs, understand about workers' compensation, how to extend your health coverage, and more.

You can file for unemployment at Unemployment Assist as well. Good luck!

Are you better understanding unemployment? Be smart and serious. A new job is on the horizon if you put your time and effort into seeking a return to employmentville. May the work force be with you.

Subscribe to PayPath Newsletter
PayPath
Follow Us on

It's easy to forget that the presidency of the United States is a government job just like any other–in that it comes with a stipulated salary and benefits.

But regardless of their bombastic rhetoric or self-serious public image, politicians are like all other government employees. The president, vice president, and legislators earn an annual income from the government in exchange for their duties, which include: executing/circumventing the law, upholding/withholding the civil liberties of American citizens, and legislating/sabotaging how societal institutions meet the needs of citizens, from healthcare to education.

If you've ever wondered what American politicians earn for all their hard work arguing across the aisle and starting Twitter feuds, look no further:

Keep reading Show less

Maybe you've had a high stress occupation before, like social work or stock trading, and fell victim to the high burnout rate of these kinds of jobs.

Or maybe you're just starting your career, and looking for something that won't take over your life but will still provide you with a good living. Whatever reason you have for looking for a high paying, low-stress job, you've come to the right place. We've compiled a list of the top 5 jobs that promise a solid paycheck without taking too much out of you.

Keep reading Show less

What do you do when financial hardship hits and you can't make your monthly mortgage payments? This is a question on many homeowner's minds as nearly 17.8 million Americans are reportedly unemployed during the coronavirus pandemic.

When homeowners face financial hardship, such as the loss of a job, they often look to obtain a forbearance agreement from their lender. A forbearance happens when your lender grants you a temporary pause or reduction in monthly payments on your mortgage. Forbearance is not the same as payment forgiveness, in that you still have to pay the entire amount back by an agreed-upon time.

Mortgage lending institutions differ on their mortgage relief policies and qualifications; however, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act were signed into law in late March of this year to protect government-backed mortgages.

Federally backed mortgages include:

  • Fannie Mae
  • Freddie Mac
  • The Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
  • The US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)
  • The US Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Under the CARES Act, homeowners with a federally backed loan who either directly or indirectly suffer financial hardship due to coronavirus automatically qualify for mortgage forbearance.

Even if your mortgage is not secured by one of these agencies, you still can call and see if you qualify, as many lenders will still offer the option in order to avoid foreclosures.

Under the CARES act, homeowners can claim mortgage forbearance due to financial hardship from COVID-19 for up to 12 months without requiring any documentation or verification. During the forbearance period, mortgage lenders cannot charge late fees or penalties.

Additionally, as long as your mortgage is current at the time you claim forbearance, the lender is required to keep reporting your mortgage as paid current throughout the entire period.

At the end of the forbearance, the CARES act protects consumers from having to make a lump sum payment. Instead, you will be given a repayment plan from your provider. Since repayment options vary, it's important you ask your provider about all of your repayment options.

Possible Repayment Options:

You may be eligible for a loan modification at the end of your forbearance. With modification, the mortgage terms are changed in order to add payments that were missed during the forbearance onto the end of the loan, extending the term.

Another option that may work for some is a reduced payment option. This allows you to keep paying monthly payments at a reduced amount. The amount missed is usually added back into the monthly payments at the end of the forbearance.

For example:

Regular payment: $1000 per month

Reduced payment: $500 per month

Payment after forbearance period: $1500 (until caught up)

Balloon payments, or lump sum payments at the end of the forbearance, are prohibited under the CARES Act. However, mortgage lenders may require homeowners who are not protected under the CARES Act to make a balloon payment at the end, so again it is best to check first with your provider.

Mortgage forbearance should only be considered in true financial hardship. In other words, just because of the pandemic, you should not take a forbearance on your mortgage if you can still afford your payments. Likewise, if you are able to start making payments before the forbearance period is up, it's best to do so as soon as possible.

The Next Steps:

Before you get in touch with your mortgage servicer, save time by gathering as much documentation about the mortgage as you can. Also, be ready to list your income and monthly expenses. Due to an influx in calls, financial institutions are experiencing extremely long wait times right now, and having your information at the ready will help.

Have questions ready to ask. Here are some questions you should be asking:

  • What fees are associated with the forbearance?
  • What are all the repayment options available to you at the end of the forbearance?
  • Will you be charged interest during the forbearance period?

If your forbearance is approved, make sure to keep all documentation pertaining to it. Make sure to cancel any automatic payments to the mortgage during the forbearance period, and keep tabs on your credit report to make sure your lender doesn't report the loan as unpaid.


For more information on forbearance, contact your lender and discuss your options. If you need more assistance with understanding your options, you can contact a local agent for the housing counseling agency, or call their hotline at 1-800-569-4287.