If the federal government doesn't make a budget deal many of the 2.1 million federal employees could be furloughed from work starting in April. In the Defense Department, 800,000 civilian federal workers would have to take one day a week off without pay for 22 weeks starting the last week in April. Other departments are also expecting furloughs for civilian workers.
According to CNNMoney, "The only group that could escape furloughs are some 1,500 presidential appointees, including Cabinet positions, deputy secretaries and assistant secretaries."
One of the concerns, if employees are furloughed for one a day a week rather than temporarily laid-off, is eligibility for unemployment. According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management:
It is possible that furloughed employees may become eligible for unemployment compensation. State unemployment compensation requirements differ. Some States require a 1-week waiting period before an individual qualifies for payments. In general, the law of the State in which an employee's last official duty station in Federal civilian service was located will be the State law that determines eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits.
Here's more information on unemployment benefits for furloughed federal workers. As noted, qualifying for unemployment benefits is determined by state guidelines. Check with your state unemployment office for information on eligiblity for unemployment in your location.
In addition, unemployed workers collecting federal extended benefits are facing a cut of 9.4% in Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits if sequestration happens.