The 2013 Government Shutdown has caused many federal agencies to send workers home without pay or until further notice. The question has come up if employees are eligible for unemployment benefits? The answer to this question is: YES! If you are ever fired or displaced from a position due to any other content other than your own accord you are eligible for unemployment benefits. Unemployment benefits are just that … a benefit and a right of the worker. Each state regulates for employers to pay unemployment insurance for all workers. Contrary to what the news or peers may say, you are eligible for unemployment benefits under these circumstances:
- If you are fired from your job
- If you are laid off from your job
- If your company furloughs your position
- If your company conducts a Reduction in Forces (RIF)
Unemployment is processed differently depending on the state you file your claim in. The unemployment amount depends on how much you earned at the position you are displaced from. Overall, filing for unemployment insurance for most states starts with filling out an online application.
Know your rights. For more on unemployment insurance go to the Department of Labor
There are many misconceptions on what a furlough actually is and how a furlough works in reference to federal employees. There are two different types of possible furloughs. There are administrative furloughs and a government shutdown furlough. The long and short of the different is administrative furloughs are planned events and a government shutdown is an unplanned event.
Administrative furloughs can be by government agency that has scheduled reductions in force (RIFs) for budgeting reasons, not enough work for employees, a lawsuit or other foreseeable situation. It is up to the budgetary funding on which employees would remain receiving pay and those that would not. In most cases of administrative furloughs pay is reimbursable.
In the case of a federal government shutdown, government agencies, which have reserved funds for mandatory employees budgetary funds, would use this method in case of an unscheduled shutdown. This is technically namely called a “emergency” shutdown. “In a shutdown furlough, an affected agency would have to shut down any activities funded by annual appropriations that are not excepted by law.” In most cases, unless the federal agency has reserved funds for such an event, employees will be ordered to shutdown and not return to work until mandated to do so.
Either way, both furloughs have lasting effects on the Nations economy and the United States citizens as a whole. For more information on government furloughs go to www.opm.gov