Guidance and Resources for Furloughed Federal Employees
While the political stalemate in Washington over a budget for fiscal year 2014 drags into its third week, federal employees are increasingly feeling the negative impacts of the shutdown. With 800,000 federal employees impacted by furloughs, federal employees and their families are struggling to pay their bills and put food on the table.
During this time of hardship, federal employees should know their options as it relates unemployment benefits and other assistance programs. Below, we have listed numerous links that provide information on where to file for unemployment benefits and where to apply for emergency financial assistance. We also listed other information that might be useful to those impacted by the shutdown.
NFFE encourages all furloughed federal employees to apply for unemployment benefits immediately as there may be state-specific requirements and time sensitive deadlines. While the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation recently to provide back pay for furloughed federal workers once the shutdown ends, that legislation has since been hung up in the Senate and is not considered a sure bet to be passed into law. Filing for unemployment is strongly advised.
Applying for Unemployment Benefits
DOL: Information for Furloughed Federal Workers – Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE)
DOL: State Unemployment Insurance Benefits
Interactive Map: Finding Your State Unemployment Insurance Agency
“What Furloughed Workers Need to Know About Filing for Unemployment Claims”
FEEA Emergency Assistance
The Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund (FEEA) offers limited, emergency assistance to federal employees. Recently, FEEA was forced to suspend offering no-interest loans due to the overwhelming volume of federal employees currently receiving assistance. Employees who have recently submitted applications for furlough loans will receive an email from FEEA explaining the current situation. The charity will retain the applications of those it is unable to help at this time in hopes that the financial situation will improve and it will be able to re-evaluate those applications. FEEA will continue providing no-interest emergency loans to federal employees who meet FEEA’s general guidelines for financial need. Employees must be having trouble paying for basic living needs like rent/mortgage or utilities due to emergency circumstances beyond their control that have created a significant drop in income or a considerable increase in expenses. Furloughed employees may still apply if they have other life circumstances beyond furloughs that have created the financial hardship. Those seeking FEEA loans should complete the regular Emergency Assistance application available at www.feea.org/furloughs.
Agency Information and Guidance Relating to Government Shutdown
OPM Guidance for Shutdown Furloughs
DOL’s Guide: Shut-down of Federal Operations – What Does It Mean To Me?
Federal Agency Contingency Plans
Department of Defense Guidance for Implementation of Pay Our Military Act