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US Government Shutdown: What to Expect?

US Government Shutdown

The US government has been in partial shutdown since December 22, 2018, as President Trump continues to demand more than $5 billion for the border wall between US and Mexico. At this time, since the Democrats control the House, they continue to suggest that they won’t agree to any new money for the wall. Though Trump would not declare a state of national emergency, the White House has already started the groundwork in the event that a major problem arises. Till date, this is the longest shutdown in the history of America.

What Does This Shutdown Mean?

This partial government shutdown would lead to a serious impact on the 800,000 federal employees including the essential jobs that are required to work without pay. This would suggest that most government offices and national monuments would not be functional. As of now, it is difficult to predict layoffs or companies closing down or seeing companies slash up to one-third of its staff due to mergers and acquisitions.

Why the Shutdown?

President Trump stated that he would not relent till the Democrats come to an understand and would go to the extent of using even Disaster Relief Funds to ensure that he has enough financial backing to complete the Wall. Owing to this, President Trump suggested that he would even militarize the border and improve the border security to safeguard the American people.

What to Expect With the Government Shutdown?

Currently, the Federal Government gets its funding from the annual budget appropriations that is governed by the Congress. While the majority of the government has funding in place since the budget was initiated on October 1, 2018, there are still agencies that are operating on temporary extensions which expired at midnight on December 21, 2018.

Workers are in a fix as funding was not enacted for those agencies during the shutdown. This leaves several employees working for those agencies that have stayed on the job even with furloughs.

In both cases, these employees will remain unpaid until the spending authority is restored. Those that remain at work are called Excepted while those that are furloughed are called Non-excepted. In this period individual agencies would help make decisions in what the government calls Contingency Plans.

How to Survive a Government Shutdown?

The best way to prepare for this kind of crisis is to have a Financial Fire Drill (FFD) in place. This FFD is a focused look at essential expenses and how you would be able to cover them during a no-work period. This includes a list of resources and the answer to all the what-ifs. This is where you should prepare yourself on how to answer an interview.

How Much Should You Save to Be in the Clear?

When you come to think about it, you should try to be financially secure to ensure that when push comes to shove, you have enough resources for you and your family. This actually is quite liberating as you can learn to get by on $1,000 a month till things get better.

You should try to develop a habit of saving and if you have, then your healthy emergency fund can be used for an occasion like this one. While it is suggested that you save for three to six months’ worth of expenses, it would be advisable to save for a year’s worth. Though in theory, it could be difficult, it can be made possible.

Though the main point would be to save on the emergency fund and spend it. There are cases of emergencies where you cannot be fully covered. Also, if it takes more than three months to find a new job or recover from a health issue then you still have to pay the bills and this emergency fund would come in handy.

Similarly, you should learn to perform better at work and learn new skills while on the job to ensure that you are up to date with the current state of affairs.

Claim Your Unemployment Benefits

If you are among the 800,000 federal employees or among the many that have lost their job or have furloughed your work then you can apply for unemployment benefits.

How do you apply for benefits, you ask?

Firstly, you will have to apply online to WorkForce West Virginia website or visit the nearest WorkForce office for help.

Secondly, submit the Notification of Personnel Action (SFSO) or a Notice to Federal Employee About Unemployment Insurance (SF8).

Thirdly, as furloughed federal employees, you should upload past check stubs to the application to expedite the process. Though furloughed federal employees are not required to seek employment to receive benefits, they would be expected to reach an agreement with Congress to back pay once the shutdown has ended.

Use our Resources and Tools to Your Benefit

If you are in a tight spot and need help to find employment then you should take a look at some of our resources in order to ensure that you are well on your way. You also need to figure out how you can get hired after a career break, we have the right resources to help you on your way.

Don’t forget to use our host of tools like the Base Period Calculator, Benefits Calculator, and the Eligibility Calculator to help determine your benefits amount that you should receive. This way you can figure out what your base period is, determine the benefits that you are due and whether you are officially eligible to claim your benefits.

With the Base Period Calculator, you can determine what your base period which is the months prior to losing your job. These are the usually the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the effective date of the claim/unemployment.

Similarly, you can use the Benefits Calculator to determine what is the amount of benefits that you are due based on your base period.

But before you determine your benefits, you should check out the Eligibility Calculator to know whether you are eligible for benefits and if you are actively searching for a job.

If you have any questions about how to use these tools or need any information about how to get your benefits then you can reach out to us in the comments section below. Don’t feel shy, we’re all ears!

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