Resources for Tough Times
File online or by phone with the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA), the State of Michigan's source for unemployment claims. UIA may be reached toll free at 866-500-0017
Michigan Works! provides in-person assistance, computers, and job postings, at local offices throughout the state:
- Ferndale: 248-545-0222
- Highland: 248-889-0410
- Novi: 248-956-5060
- Oak Park: 248-691-8437
- Oxford: 248-969-2399
- Pontiac: 248-276-1777
- Southfield: 248-796-4550
- Troy: 248-823-5101
- Waterford: 248-682-3417
- Wayne: 734-858-4284
No Worker Left Behind — No Worker Left Behind can provide up to $5,000 a year for tuition payments and other academic expenses for a maximum of two years for qualified residents. Call toll free at 800-533-5800
For additional assistance in filing your claim, watch Filing Your Claim for Unemployment Benefits and Finding a Job at the UIA website.
HealthCare.org is the home of the Health Insurance Marketplace which allows residents to find, compare, and purchase health coverage. Look at CPL's Affordable Care Act Resources to learn more about the Affordable Care Act and how to obtain affordable health coverage for you and your family.
COBRA provides certain former employees, retirees, spouses, former spouses, and dependent children the right to temporary continuation of health coverage at group rates. This coverage, however, is only available when coverage is lost due to certain specific events. Call toll free at 866-444-3272 for more information.
Consider enrolling in health insurance available through spouse’s or partner’s employer.
Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, HIPPA, you have 30 days to enroll in your spouse/partner’s plan if you lose insurance due to loss of employment, regardless of when the open enrollment period is.
Private Health Insurance
Research health care insurance providers based on cost and amount of coverage.
The National Committee for Quality Assurance not-for-profit organization provides "Report Cards" on Health Insurance Providers.
Blue Cross Blue Shield (BC/BS, 877-4MY-BLUE [877-469-2583]) of Michigan is the state's nonprofit insurer of last resort. BC/BS must accept all applicants.
Government Funded Health Insurance
Veterans qualify for VA benefits: 877-222-8387
Medicaid is available to low-income families, disabled persons, children, and pregnant women.
MIChild (Toll free: 888-988-6300) helps children under age 19 of working families (those who do not qualify for Medicaid). This program has a higher income bracket than the Medicaid program.
Free or Low Cost Primary Care
A list of Free Clinics in Michigan can be found at the Free Clinics of Michigan.
At Community Health Centers, you pay what you can afford based on your income.
Project Healthy Living provides free and/or low-cost health screenings locally.
Generalcareeronestop.com — a "one-stop shop" that provides tools to help job seekers, students, businesses and career professionals.
Cover Letters, Resumes & References
- About.com resume samples for most job-seekers
- More free resume templates including writing tips
- LearningExpressLibrary use the Job & Career Accelerator to help find a job and write résumés and cover letters. It is accessible via the Michigan Electronic Library using your Driver's License or State ID.
- NetLibrary — E-book database available through MeL which has full text books with advice on resumes, cover letters, etc.
- Reference Letter tips — questions and tips for compiling your reference list
- More Reference Letter samples
CPL Job Search Toolkit - contains useful resources on job seeking, resume and cover letters, interviewing, computer skills and careers and salary
Occupational Outlook Handbook looks at future growth in different occupations. Published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Handbook includes information on income, training, job searching and the job market by state.
The database ReferenceUSA allows you to search for potential employers by industry, number of employees, location, etc.
Unfortunately, there are a number of types of job scams. Many of the most common scams fit in more than one category. Learn how to recognize and avoid job scams.
Job searching websites:
- Craigslist jobs
- Education Sector Jobs — through Michigan HERC and Faculty, Administrative and Support Staff Job Opportunities in Michigan
- Every Truck Job
- Green Careers Guide — Tools for green job seekers
- Indeed — Search by job title, keyword or company name
- Jewish Vocational Services — JVS helps unemployed workers find meaningful employment
- Job-Hunt.org — for everything from anticipating a layoff to recruiting employees
- Job posting sites in Michigan
- Military and Veteran Career Center
- The Riley Guide — Employment opportunities on the Internet
- Snag A Job-Michigan — postings by city for hourly jobs in retail, food service, personal care, automotive service, etc.
About.com's Job Search site offers a variety of interview questions, answers, and interview tips
State of California Employment Development Department has an excellent site on interviewing. Includes questions, pitfalls and thank you notes.
U.S. Representative John Dingell’s office has compiled a guidebook entitled, "Displaced Worker Assistance and Training Opportunities Guidebook", which includes information on unemployment benefits, food stamps, foreclosure assistance, job training programs and more.
Help for Homeowners from Southeast Michigan Council Of Governments (SEMCOG) — Provides homeowners with access to many resources including timelines, counseling services, treasurer's offices, housing assistance, and advice on avoiding scams. Call toll free at 800-961-3334
Housing and Energy Assistance from the Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency. Offers foreclosure prevention counseling as well as home ownership counseling and assistance. Call 248-209-2600 for Pontiac, or 248-542-5860 for Ferndale
GreenPath Debt Solutions — Non-profit organization in Farmington Hills offering help with foreclosure prevention, repossession, and utility shutoff. Offers free debt counseling services either over the phone or in-person. Also information on loan modification scams that claim to be associated with the U.S. Dept of Housing and Urban Development. Call toll free at 800-550-1961
Step Forward Michigan — Program operated by MSHDA (Michigan State Housing Development Authority) to help homeowners keep their homes through refinancing. Call toll free at 866-946-7432
Michigan Foreclosure Prevention Project — Collaborative statewide project from the Michigan Poverty Law Program that provides direct legal representation to homeowners facing foreclosure, support to housing counseling organizations, coordinating policy advocacy on a statewide basis, and provides training and technical support. Call 734-615-2450
Making Home Affordable from the Department of the Treasury. Refinance or modify loans to a payment that is affordable now and into the future. A self-assessment tool provided allows homeowners to determine if they are able to benefit from this program. Also includes FAQs, payment estimators and lots of other valuable resources. Call toll free: 888-995-HOPE
Hope Now — An alliance between HUD approved housing counselors and mortgage companies that provides free foreclosure prevention assistance. Call toll free 888-995-HOPE
Mortgage Foreclosure Resources for Consumers from the Federal Reserve. Information and links to agencies and organizations that may be able to help consumers
Foreclosure Prevention Resource Center — The Mortgage Bankers Association provides information about the foreclosure process and borrower options.
- AnnualCreditReport.com — get your free annual credit report. No strings attached
Maintaining Good Credit
- Federal Trade Commission — Building a Better Credit Report
- About.com Credit/Debt Management — How to Survive Unemployment, Maintain Your Credit, and Manage Your Debt
- Federal Reserve Bureau — Learn five tips to improve your credit score
- Power Pay 5.0 — Power payments are part of a technique often suggested by financial experts to help families and individuals gain control of their consumer debts. This program developed in part by the Utah State University Extension can help you make power payments (you must create a username and password to access)
- Department of Human Services — Offers emergency assistance with bills to qualified individuals. Phone: 517-373-2035
- United Way for Southeastern Michigan — Type in "credit counseling" in the search prompt. Phone: 211
- Free, reputable credit counselors: Michigan State Housing Development Authority — Counselor Agency Locator. Phone: 517-373-8370
- MI Bridges is a 24/7, secure web portal for clients and community partners to access Department of Human Services programs including food assistance (FAP), State Emergency Relief (SER) for energy and non-energy related needs, Medical Assistance (Medicaid), Child Development Care (CDC), and Cash Assistance.
- The Information Center, Inc., The Family Resource Place is a private, non-profit organization, comprehensive Information and referral agency dedicated to the national goal of bringing people and services together
- Michigan Helping Hand helps Michigan citizens facing economic hardship find the services they need
- Team Canton: Community Assistance Resource Guide contains information on food pantries, clothing banks, financial assistance, job placement assistance, education and training programs, and much more in the Canton area
- United Way 2-1-1 is a multi-lingual, comprehensive information and referral service available 24/7/365. Its database contains more than 20,000 programs and services such as after school programs, senior care services, medical and prescription assistance, credit counseling and mortgage foreclosure assistance, and housing and utility resources
Michigan Department of Human Services
The Michigan Department of Human Services provides help in numerous ways. Call 517-373-2035 for assistance.
The 2009 Michigan Energy Assistance Directory, developed by the Coalition to Keep Michigan Warm, provides information on private and public programs that offer energy assistance, as well as a county listing of utilities, programs, and resources available.
Food Stamps/Food Banks
- Michigan Dept. of Human Services
- Gleaners Community Food Bank — 866-453-2637
- Salvation Army — 877-725-6424
- Food Assistance Program Hotline — 800-481-4989
- Food Banks
- Alternatives for Seniors — 888-533-4636