HELP! What program benefits are available for the unemployed?
My wife and I, both lifetime residents of NJ, have been unemployed for several months now (I lost my job due to agency cut backs in July, 2010; She has been unemployed since August). We are both college graduates and have been steadily working for over 15 years. I qualify to receive UI benefits, she does not. Our only source of income has been the very small amount I receive (less than $1000/month). We have gone through almost all of our savings in the past few months, and are really starting to panic. We pay about $1200/month for rent and utilities, plus another $1000 or so for other bills (car payment, auto insurance, cc bills, food, etc). Neither of us has had health insurance in over six months. Fortunately, we do not have any children yet-we just were married at the end of October, 2010.
is a new experience for us we don't really know what types of programs and/or benefits exist in NJ that may assist us with our living expenses. We apply/submit resumes to an average of over one hundred positions a week to just about anything we see. Even staffing agencies appear to be unable to help (we're both enrolled with three different agencies). She has her BA in business with an additional paralegal cert she picked up on the side and has worked for a large auto insurance company for several years prior to becoming unemployed. I have an MA in counseling (mental health) and have been working in that field for about five years; before this I had been a Federal employee working in a different field.
If anyone has any experience navigating the system and has any advice or suggestions, it would certainly be welcome.
Thank you very much for your understanding, we sincerely appreciate it!