Furloughed federal workers can get unemployment benefits
DENVER — Federal workers in Colorado who have been furloughed because of the shutdown may be able to get help from the state unemployment office.
It’s estimated that 54,000 federal workers are in Colorado. Not all of them were furloughed when the government shutdown at midnight Monday.
Bill Thoennes of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment said about 40,000 workers in Colorado may be eligible for jobless benefits.
During the last shutdown in 1995-95, which lasted almost a month, the government paid employees back for the missed time. There is no guarantee the government will do so again this time.
In the meantime, Thoennes said, workers who were told they are nonessential and dismissed can apply for unemployment.
There is a one-week waiting period for the state to process applications. Applicants should register at ColoradoUI.gov.
Unlink other applicants, federal workers will not be required to look for a job while they are on unemployment because they are “job attached” and it’s assumed once the shutdown ends they would return to work, Thoennes said.
Current unemployment claimants will continue to receive their benefits despite the federal government shutting down, Thoennes said.
“We know for the foreseeable future it won’t be impacted,” Thoennes said.
However, the state will be waiting for guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor on how long benefits will last.