I was lucky enough to be able to get Unemployment Benefits and enter in to the CAT program and collect my unemployment while completing my AA in Criminal Justice. After struggling through 2 years of school with little to no money, my Unemployment was cut off when I completed my AA degree. This is not something that is told to people who get in to the CAT program. It took me 6 months to find a job and during that time I was subject to being on TANF and having to do mandatory job search which meant putting my son in full time daycare, having to pay a copay for daycare, and even at that point TANF only was going to last 6 months. Luckily I got a job in my 5th month of being on TANF.
If I would have been able to collect my Unemployment Benefit for an extended period of time, this job search process would have been less stressful. Instead of collecting $400 a month from TANF, I would have been collecting $283 a week. This would have allowed less stress, increased my mental stability, allowed me to interview better, and eventually get a position that is a career. I wouldn't have to settle for a minimum wage job out of my field of study that I had just completed while on CAT benefits.