1) I lost my job or about to be laid-off from my job. What do I do?
Don’t panic! This may be a difficult time for you and your family, but you can and will get through this. You may even wind up with a better job than your previous one.
Your local Job Center has a multitude of services available, as well as referrals and access to many other community resources.
2) What is a Job Center? How can the Job Center help me? Does is cost anything? Do I need an appointment to visit a Job Center?
A Job Center is “one-stop shopping” for job seekers and employers. Each Job Center houses a variety of partners, including but not limited to, the Alaska Employment Service, Division of Public Assistance, and Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. The goal is for job seekers and employers to be able to receive quick and easy access to a wide range of employment services under one roof.
There are 24 Job Centers across the State of Alaska that offers the following:
Workshops – Get assistance with job search skills such as resume writing, cover letters, completing job applications, interviewing skills, and State of Alaska applications. Learn job search “tips” from the experts.
Resource Room – Job Center resource rooms offer free use of personal computers, photocopiers and printers to provide professional looking letters and resumes, and Internet access for searching current job openings.
Job Referral and Matching – Use the ALEXsys system to get the latest information on the best job openings for you and employers most likely to be hiring in your area of interest. In addition, post your resume’ for employers to view.
Assessment and Career Planning – Consult with an Employment Counselor for a skills assessment that can reveal your untapped talents and abilities, explore potential new careers, and get information on schools and training programs.
Upgrading Your Skills – On-the-job training, older worker training, youth employment and training, and a program for workers facing layoff are all designed to advance your marketable job skills.
Referrals to Community Resources – Get referrals to special services you may need from other programs and organizations.
Job Club – Swap ideas, tips, and lessons learned about finding work with other job seekers.
Veteran’s Services – One-on-one individualized job search services provided by professional Veteran’s representatives.
All of our services are provided at no cost. No appointment is necessary to visit a Job Center, although specialized services may need to be scheduled in advance. Just stop in and see what’s available.
3) How do I file for Unemployment Insurance?
You can file on-line for Unemployment Insurance benefits at
http://labor.state.ak.us/esd_unemployment_insurance/biff-splash.htm or you may call your local Call Center to file by telephone.
4) What about medical insurance?
Contact your present employer or employer of layoff to see if you can elect to keep your current insurance under COBRA-Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq_consumer_cobra.html
or contact your current insurance provider directly to see if there are other options.
You may also apply for Denali Kid Care, a State of Alaska program designed to ensure that children and teens of both working and non-working families and pregnant women that meet income guidelines get the health insurance they need. Get more information at http://health.hss.state.ak.us/dhcs/DenaliKidCare/default.htm
The State of Alaska, Division of Public Assistance, administers the Medicaid program a program providing medical coverage for low-income children, pregnant women, families, the elderly, blind, and permanently disable. Visit them on-line at http://health.hss.state.ak.us/dpa/programs/medicaid or for more information or call your nearest Public Assistance office for the address.
5) Is there other financial assistance available?
The Department of Public Assistance has several programs that may be able to assist you, including Food Stamps (to purchase food), Energy Assistance (assistance with heating and utility bills), and Temporary Assistance (cash benefits and work services). Visit them on-line at http://health.hss.state.ak.us/dpa/# for more information or call your nearest Public Assistance office.
You may be eligible to get food assistance from your local Food Bank. You can visit them on-line at http://www.foodbankofalaska.org
In addition, you may qualify for your children to receive free or reduced-price meals (lunch at all schools; breakfast at selected schools) from your local school district. Contact your child’s school or go on-line athttp://asdk12.org/menus/frp.asp for more information.
6) I have a child in college, how can I get financial aid for him or her?
Go to http://www.fafsa.ed.gov to fill out a free application for federal financial aid, including grants, student loans, and work-study.
You can visit the Educational Opportunity Center at 500 L Street, Anchorage, AK, 99501, for assistance with filling out this form and for information about additional funding sources. Their phone number is 907-274-5522.
7) What if I can’t pay my student loan payments?
Don’t just default on your payments. That will make matters worse. The Alaska Commission on Post-Secondary Education (ACPE) can help. Contact a Repayment Counselor at (800)441-2967 to explore your options and arrange your payment strategy. You can get further information on-line at http://akadvantage.alaska.gov/
8) How will I manage when my income is reduced? How can I budget for this? How do I pay my bills? What about my creditors? Is there help available?
Contact Consumer Credit Counseling of Alaska http://www.cccsofak.com
or call them at 279-6501. They can assist with confidential and personal debt management plans to help pay existing debt and avoid future problems. In addition, they provide educational programs on such topics as budgeting, money management, and the wise use of credit.
9) How can I find other, more specialized community resources?
Visit http://ak.org a website maintained by United Way of Anchorage, for Alaskans seeking services. AK Info can help you locate services that you need in your community or throughout the state.
Or, contact your local Job Center for a community resource list or a referral.
10) I can’t afford childcare for my children while I am job searching. Is there any help available?
Contact your local Child Care Assistance Program. The Child Care Assistance Program assists low and moderate income parents who are working, training, or job seeking, with the cost of childcare. Visit them on-line at http://www.hss.state.ak.us/dpa/programs/ccare