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Alison Doyle

Unemployment for Furloughed Federal Employees

By October 4, 2013

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Many federal employees are facing being furloughed from work because of the government shutdown. Employees furloughed during a government shutdown are not paid during their leave, but may be paid retroactively.

Furloughed workers may be eligible for unemployment benefits. 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.

Qualifying for unemployment benefits is determined by state guidelines and unemployment benefits for federal workers are paid through the state unemployment offices. If you receive a furlough notice, check with your state unemployment office for information on eligibility for unemployment in your location.

Please Note: In some states, furloughed employees will have to file over the phone - online applications aren't being accepted. In others, you can apply online. If furloughed employees are given their back pay, they will need to repay any overpayment of unemployment benefits.

Related Articles: How Bad is Sequestration? | Unemployment Eligibility | Unemployment for Federal Employees | Unemployment Benefits if the Government Shuts Down

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