Furloughed Federal Workers Might Collect Unemployment Benefits

Friday, 31 May 2013 07:41 AM

By John Morgan

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The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is helping furloughed federal workers collect unemployment benefits, which is probably not what lawmakers had in mind when they implemented furloughs to reduce towering government debt.

It is not known how many federal employees might be eligible for jobless benefits since the furlough arrangements vary by agency and unemployment rules differ by state, CNNMoney reported.

In its help pages on the agency's website, the DOL stated, "While on furlough, Federal employees may become eligible for unemployment benefits under the Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) program."

Editor's Note: The Final Turning Predicted for America. See Proof.

The DOL said federal employees should be prepared with the right documents when filing, and coached them on which ones to have handy.

The DOL apparently expects a big response from furloughed federal workers.

"You should expect longer-than-normal wait times due to the large volume of UCFE claims that may be filed," the agency advised.

However, the DOL held out the possibility furloughed federal employees may receive some extra assistance from sympathetic state government employees.

"Some states may increase normal working hours in order to process the high volume of UCFE claims, if necessary," the DOL said.

"Please be patient, states will be doing all they can to accommodate you and to help you correctly file your claim."

One public sector union spokesman reminded CNNMoney that jobless benefits generally only pay the unemployed a portion of what they were earning at work.

"It's not a pound for a pound thing. It's essentially something people get in order to live on while they're going through this tough time," said Gregory Junemann, international president of the International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers union. "Remember, these are essentially middle-class people. They don't take this money and invest it in property in the Bahamas. They're buying groceries."

The areas with the most federal workers — California, Virginia, Texas and the District of Columbia — have not reported a notable increase in unemployment claims from federal employees yet, CNNMoney reported, but there has been a small increase in New York.

Editor's Note: The Final Turning Predicted for America. See Proof.

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