Unemployment Support Guide

Resources for navigating layoffs & unemployment

Unemployment is a challenging – and often overwhelming – situation to navigate. Layoffs, the end of a writers’ room, reduced per-diem assignments, bankruptcy: no matter the cause, job loss is an unfortunate reality in the media & entertainment industries — one that is becoming all too common.

At many WGAE-represented workplaces, we’ve fought for, and won, strong contracts that help protect against unnecessary layoffs through provisions like just cause, successorship clauses, and AI protections  – and help soften the blow when job loss does happen through provisions like minimum severance packages, employer-paid COBRA periods, and the elimination of NDAs.

The Guild is here to support workers experiencing unemployment beyond negotiating and enforcing those contract terms.

In this Unemployment Support Guide, we’ve prepared resources for workers navigating each stage of unemployment – from determining when (or if) to sign a severance agreement and how to apply for unemployment, to finding financial and social support for you and your family, to looking for work.

Select the section of this guide most relevant to your situation to get started.

Part 1: First steps after job loss

Topics covered: layoffs, severance agreements, unemployment benefits, COBRA & healthcare and maintaining your WGAE membership.

Go to Part 1

Part 2: Finding longer-term support

Topics covered: State, federal and nonprofit programs offering assistance with financial matters, housing and utilities, food access, and childcare.

Go to Part 2

Part 3: Looking for work

Topics covered: resources for WGAE members looking for both short- and long-term work, the WGA Platform and Find A Writer, the WGAE Job Search Support database.

Go to Part 3

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