Gerri Willis Commentary:
Top Tips by Gerri Willis Column archive

Post-layoff assistance

If you're out of work and having a hard time, here are some public programs that could help.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all RSS FEEDS (close)
By Gerri Willis, CNN

For more information on managing your largest investment, check out Gerri Willis' "Home Rich," now in bookstores.
CDs & Money Market
MMA 0.69%
$10K MMA 0.42%
6 month CD 0.94%
1 yr CD 1.49%
5 yr CD 1.93%

Find personalized rates:

Rates provided by

NEW YORK ( -- This holiday season folks are thinking more about their bottom line than presents and mistletoe, and some are just struggling to keep their heads above water.

Here's your guide to financial help.

1) Get Unemployment

First, if you've lost your job and you don't know where to file for unemployment or what benefits you qualify for, check out

There is a two to three week waiting period before benefits start, so don't wait to apply.

If you want to find a local career center where you can search job postings or look for retraining opportunities, check out

If you have a pay dispute with your company after you're laid off, the Department of Labor has a number that you can call to help resolve your issue. That number is 1-866-4-USWAGE.

2) Local programs

If you're older and you're having trouble making your utility payments or getting your prescription medicine, check out Here you can find out which federal, state, local or private programs are available to help you out.

3) Help on the housing front

Have you found it more and more difficult to make your monthly mortgage bill? Your first phone call, of course, should be to contact your lender. However, there are some government programs that can help you out.

Go to or call 1-888-995-HOPE. The Department of Housing and Urban Development also has a guide to avoiding foreclosure on its Web site at

HUD can also refer you to housing counseling agencies nationwide that can give you advice on defaults, foreclosures and reverse mortgages.

4) Get a handle on your debt

If it's the monthly credit card bill that's weighing you down, check out the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. That Web site is

You'll be able to talk to a credit counselor one-on-one about your debt. These counselors may negotiate with your creditors on your behalf or you may be put on a debt management plan where your debt is wiped out in three to five years. To top of page

Gerri's Mailbox: Got questions about your money? We want to hear them! Send e-mails to or click here - each week, we'll answer questions on CNN, Headline News and
They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
More Galleries
10 of the most luxurious airline amenity kits When it comes to in-flight pampering, the amenity kits offered by these 10 airlines are the ultimate in luxury More
7 startups that want to improve your mental health From a text therapy platform to apps that push you reminders to breathe, these self-care startups offer help on a daily basis or in times of need. More
5 radical technologies that will change how you get to work From Uber's flying cars to the Hyperloop, these are some of the neatest transportation concepts in the works today. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.