Federal employees worried about receiving their salaries on time due to the ongoing government shutdown have started applying for unemployment benefits. They know that if there is an agreement and agencies are opened again their salaries will not be credited till middle of January or may be pushed to later dates. As per data available from Maryland’s Dept. of Labor, Licensing and Regulation around 637 federal employees have filed for unemployment benefits till 2 January and more are likely to follow. When government shutdowns like this occurred before these workers were given back pay but they are unsure this time.
The Personnel Management Office has also issued guidelines to government employees that want to apply for unemployment insurance to be on the safer side. They can just go to the department’s website and search for “unemployment insurance resources” by clicking on funding-lapse link. The money received will vary from state to state. As there is uncertainty about how long the shutdown is likely to go on it is likely that these employees could be called back to work just as their claim for unemployment benefits is approved and their salary is also paid with retrospect effect.
Under those circumstances the employees that have received benefits will have to pay the amount back to state once their salary comes in else it may be deducted from their salaries. Federal employees would continue to receive health benefits under the Federal Employees Health Benefits and any premium payments that have to be paid during this period will be accumulated until employee salary is paid. Once regular salary starts the amounts will be deducted from pay. Federal employees should also review their departmental regulations while searching for work as they are technically federal employees and their new jobs should not be against organizational ethics. All states will allow federal employees that have been overpaid, a reasonable repayment agreement to pay back extra money.
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