There are also the penumbral problems of the stresses brought about by losing one's income. Can you stay healthy through the constant stress? How's your blood pressure now? How's your immune system--can it make it through the added stress? How will you deal with job-hunting when you are constantly getting sick due to an AWOL immune system fleeing from all the stress? Can your marriage or partnership survive near-nightly battles over money? Jobs? Income? Spending? Even if your partnership is very stable, a money crisis can spell doom--don't let it (or at least, do everything you can to not let it). Social safety net programs are there to help people keep from falling too low, and to give you some breathing room, so that you're not panicking every time you think about needing to buy groceries, or when your kid wants to go roller skating and you know you can't afford the soon-to-follow leg break and treatment. They help keep you and your family healthy and whole--not sick and divorced. Use them. And if someone gives you flack, tell them to fuck off, you are taking care of your family.
Don't believe me? Feel confident about how you would access aid programs? Okay. Do you know what the income cutoffs are for food stamps? What kind of documentation do you need from your employer in order to claim unemployment insurance? Does your doctor/family healthcare person take state insurance? Is there a medical insurance program available for adults in your state--and if so, what are the requirements? What are the requirements for WIC? What is WIC? Can you get both TANF and WIC at the same time? Which state departments handle TANF, WIC, unemployment and Medicaid? Are there prescription programs available to avoid interruption of needed medications? If you don't know the answers to these questions, you need to find them. It is too, too, too easy to miss out on an important program that could have genuinely benefited your family by just not being familiar with the offerings. And moreover, it is even easier to accidentally screw yourself out of one program by not knowing its details and either missing a deadline or putting something on an application to program A which would cause issues with program B. Oh, and by the way, all of this paperwork will take you at least a month to get through, even if you know what you're doing, so familiarizing yourself with this stuff now is really not a bad idea. Have you ever heard someone say "It's a good thing that I'm unemployed, because claiming unemployment insurance is a full-time job!" Well, that's not actually a joke.