Looking for resources for federal employees affected by the government shutdown? Here are a few resources to help those affected. This article will hopefully help federal employees and their families navigate their lack of paycheck(s) during this time of uncertainty.
The Government has been shut down for 26 days as of today (1/16/19). 800,000 federal workers are either currently working without a paycheck, or unable to work at all (and obviously not getting paid either).
Without pointing fingers or making things political…this just sucks.
The reality of the situation is that people are going to start hurting (if they aren’t already). Just today, I was at Walgreens and a woman asked how long it would take for her prescription. She commented that she was going to have to wait around for it because she lives two towns over and her husband works for the TSA so they need to spend as carefully as possible.
This woman was worried about gas money. The amount of gas money it would take to drive less than 4 miles back and forth. Most of of us take for granted 4 miles worth of gas. Even the penny pinchers among us probably don’t worry too much about 4 miles worth of gas.
Her fear is understandable though. At this point, nobody knows when the government will re-open. Nobody knows when things will go back to normal. Even AFTER the government opens, at this point..there will be delays.
I asked on my Facebook page, what can I do to help? Neither myself or my husband are federal employees, but I knew I wanted to help. The response was just to share helpful resources. I will do my best.
#1 Lean in to your community:
Truthfully, I will not be able to provide you with ALL of the resources at your disposal. Some communities are bonding together and creating support for local federal workers. Local restaurants are providing free food. Our local baseball and softball leagues are delaying registration fees for the children of federal employees that want to play (oh, that makes me tear up).
Our communities are bonding together to help support those among us who are struggling, so first off…I encourage you to ask around your community and see where your fellow neighbors might be just waiting to see how they can help YOU.
Look on Nextdoor, Facebook and Twitter. I, personally, have been sharing every single local business offering support to furloughed workers on my own personal facebook timeline.
#2 Check what resources your department has for you:
I did a quick check and found this great resource for the US Department of Transportation employees. The Letter to Creditors is awesome, take advantage of it and get in contact with your creditors ASAP. MOST are willing to work with furloughed employees.
Honestly, if you are a furloughed employee, just check your departments website and they SHOULD have a resource available for you.
Some workers/states are eligible for unemployment. Some are not. You will need to check this out for yourself to verify. If you are, know that the process does take awhile, so don’t wait until you are in dire straits to apply.
#3 Talk to your bank/credit union
Some banks/credit unions are offering loans or covering pay for federal employees. I know JSC Federal Credit Union is offering 0% furlough loans for qualified members. See if your bank/credit union is offering anything similar.
#4 Start cutting your spending any way you can
Here on FFF I have tons of articles that can hopefully help you save money and help you deal with your new, limited budget:
#5 Reach out to your kids school, your church and the local food bank
In addition, reach out to your church and your local food bank for support. Let your children’s school know your situation. I know our school district has already proactively set up a donation center AND has agreed to allow kids meal accounts to go negative, let fees go unpaid, etc for the duration of the shutdown to alleviate financial stress due to school related expenses.
This feels so small. I don’t feel like this article is enough. If you know of more resources, please comment below and I will add to this list. If I have any misinformation on here, please kindly correct me. I just want to help and if I can give a bit of support from my tiny corner of the internet, then it is worth it.