As the partial government shutdown continues, more employees are looking for resources to help them get through this. Here are some things you may want to share.
All current Health and Dental plans are active. Take care of yourself first. Stress is the number one cause of illness. Remember every federal employee has access to a Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Don’t hesitate to contact your agency’s EAP provider.
Employment and Pay Status
- The President has signed into law the Government Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2019. This Act guarantees retroactive backpay for federal employees impacted by the partial government shutdown. This covers all of our federal employees (excepted as well as non-excepted).
- The GEFTA Act can be viewed at https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/24/text
- General guidance: Furloughed feds won’t be RIFed if government shutdown extends past 30 days, OMB says https://
federalnewsnetwork.com/ government-shutdown/2019/01/ furloughed-feds-wont-be-rifed- if-government-shutdown- extends-past-30-days-omb-says/
- OPM Pay and Leave Furlough Guidance: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/furlough-guidance/#url=Overview
- OPM FACT SHEET: Pay and Benefits Information for Employees Affected by the Lapse in Appropriations: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/furlough-guidance/fact-sheet-pay-and-benefits-information-for-employees-affected-by-the-lapse-in-appropriations.pdf
- OPM Warns Federal Employees on Sick Outs: https://m.govexec.com/pay-benefits/2019/01/opm-warns-feds-against-sick-outs/154334/?Oref=GovexecFB
- Potential ethics violations for crowdfunding https://m.
govexec.com/pay-benefits/2019/ 01/shutdown-roundup-ethics- feds-gofundme-campaigns- smartbenefits-deadline- extension-and-more/154281/? Oref=GovexecFB
- See guidance issued by GSA regarding Ethical Considerations During a Lapse in Funding at the end of this document. While each agency is likely to issue its own guidance, these items are worth reviewing to make sure no one violates regulations. Please check with your own Office of Counsel for any guidance specific to your agency.
Applying for unemployment:
- Effect of Nonpay Status on Your TSP Account: https://www.tsp.gov/PDF/formspubs/oc95-4.pdf
- TSP Withdrawal and Loans During a Government Shutdown: http://tsp-withdrawal.com/tsp-withdrawal-government-shutdown/
- Many credit unions, banks, credit card companies, cell phone providers, etc. are offering deferred payments or waiving fees. These are individual requests by the customer.
- Go to United Way 211 (just dial 211) to locate local sources of support.
- Atmos Energy is offering bill payment deferrals and flexible payment options to furloughed government employees. Contact 888-286-6700
- KC Water: https://fox4kc.com/2019/01/18/kc-water-offers-federal-employees-deferred-payments-during-shutdown/
- How Banks and Lenders Are Helping Workers Affected by the Government Shutdown: https://free.vice.
com/en_us/article/8xpzdv/ government-shutdown-bank- relief-federal-workers
- Federal Employee Education & Assistance Fund offers loans to federal employees, https://feea.org/ FEEA has put together some articles and resources at a national level: http://feea.org/shutdown/
Food Pantries: https://www.harvesters.org/Get-Help/Service-Locator.aspx
If you have additional information you would like to share with the rest of the community, please feel free to pass it along to me and I will distribute it.
- Affected by the Gov’t Shutdown? Get Free Meals & More! https://lowincomerelief.com/
- Free Transportation: https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article224529210.html
- Dept of Interior and Transportation Credit Unions: https://www.transfcu.org/?page=furlough_preparedness
- St. James Lutheran Church is hosting a free spaghetti dinner on Saturday, February 2nd, from 5:30 pm to 7 pm for federal employees, contractors and their families to show our appreciation for their hard work, especially during the government shutdown. Since there are no tickets nor ID required, RSVP is appreciated (https://bit.ly/2RpMTH8 ). Donations will be taken on behalf of and sent directly to the Federal Employee Education & Assistance Fund (feea.org).
- Metro Lutheran Ministry (MLMKC.org) Food Pantry (3031 Holmes, KCMO) will be open on THURSDAYS from 1:30 – 3:00 pm for a special shopping session. Government ID required.
- Restaurants offering discounts: https://fox4kc.com/2019/01/16/restaurants-transportation-companies-offer-freebies-for-furloughed-workers/
More than 9,000 of our local federal employees are furloughed/working without pay. The number may be closer to 12,000, but I don’t have an accurate figure. Roughly one fourth of local employees are furloughed.
. Agencies in our area affected by the shutdown:
- Homeland Security
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- General Services Administration (partial, since some funding comes from fees)
- Housing and Urban Development