Leaving a job can be stressful and messy. When you are going through this type of transition, you definitely want to make sure you have your ducks in a row to prevent financial loss. Whether you are leaving voluntarily or you are terminated, be sure you understand your benefits clearly and take full advantage of them when you leave your job. This will help ease financial burdens as well as reduce stress and anxiety for you during this life-changing transition.
While some instances of resignation may disqualify you for unemployment benefits, applying costs you nothing so you might as well try. When you leave a job, be sure to apply for Unemployment Insurance through your state’s website as soon as you can to expedite the process.
HEALTH AND LIFE INSURANCE
You may be worried about having a gap in health coverage. Some companies will continue health and life insurance for various lengths of time after an employee departs. Your coverage may end immediately, or you may be covered through the end of the month, for example. Once your coverage ends, here are some additional options:
- COBRA – Departing employees can keep their existing health insurance plan to prevent a lapse in coverage. Premiums can be pricy, though, since your employer will no longer be subsidizing them.
- Individual insurance – You may find affordable options through the marketplace for the interim.
- Your spouse’s insurance plan – Even if it is not currently time for open enrollment, a spouse ending employment is considered a qualifying “life change” event, which can qualify you to be added to their existing plan.
Depending on the company and the terms of departure, you may be able to collect additional financial benefits upon leaving your job.
- Severance Pay
Often, situations like layoffs or company closures come with a severance package. These terms often allot continued salary for a determined number of pay periods as well as continued insurance benefits. Be sure you know whether a severance package is being offered to you.
- Accrued Vacation/Paid Time Off
While some companies have a “use it or lose it” policy with regard to vacation time and sick/wellness time, some companies are willing to pay out for any PTO you have remaining. Be sure to request this payout if you have time banked.
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION / DISABILITY INSURANCE
Should your departure be due to health complications, be sure you have all of the information you need to file a claim like workers’ compensation (if the health issue is due to a work-related injury) or disability insurance (if you were unable to continue working due to your health condition).
It may be the last thing on your mind when you leave a job, but make sure you maintain as cordial and professional a relationship as possible with your former employer. Ask certain individuals or your HR department if you can obtain professional and personal references based on your time employed with the company. Keeping these relationships intact will benefit your networking pool greatly and help further your career in the future. You never know, you may find yourself wanting to come back to this company at some point in the future.