Information about the federal sequester
Updated March 14, 2013
There are two primary questions being asked related to the federal sequester:
- Do federally funded employees who are furloughed qualify for unemployment benefits?
- Are unemployment benefits affected by the sequester?
Questions about sequester-related furloughs
|Q. ||I’m being put on temporary leave without pay (furloughed). Am I eligible for unemployment benefits for the time I’m off? |
|A. ||It depends on how the furlough is implemented. You would have to be unemployed for most or all of a week (Sunday through Saturday) in order to be eligible for benefits – assuming you meet other eligibility requirements. However, if you normally work full-time and your hours are reduced by one work day in a week, you will not be eligible for benefits because you still earn too much in that week to be eligible. |
| ||NOTE: We decide eligibility on a case-by-case basis. Anyone has the right to apply for benefits and claim weekly benefits. When we have all the facts, we will determine eligibility.|
|Q.||Will I get paid for every week I file a claim?|
|A.||The first time you file your weekly claim and are eligible to receive benefits will be considered a “waiting week.” You will not be paid benefits for your waiting week. If you go off and on unemployment benefits more than once during your benefit year, you will not have to serve another waiting week during this unemployment claim. |
|Q.||How much money would I get in unemployment benefits?|
|A.||You can estimate your weekly benefit amount on our website. If you’re furloughed for only part of a week, use the earnings deduction chart to see if the reduction in your gross weekly pay makes you eligible for any benefits. |
|Q.||Do I have to look for work if I am waiting to go back to work with my employer? |
|A.||In general, you are required to look for work unless we tell you otherwise. |
Some possible exceptions:
- If you are temporarily unemployed because of a lack of work, but you expect to return to work with your regular employer, you may qualify for “standby.” You must have a definite or probable return-to-work date within a reasonable amount of time. If we approve you for standby, you do not have to look for work, but you must be available for all hours of work offered by your regular employer. These weeks do not have to be consecutive.
- If you were hired to work full-time and you are still working each week, but your hours have been temporarily reduced, you may qualify for partial unemployment benefits (see the previous question}. To meet this requirement and to have your work-search waived, your weekly hours may be reduced by no more than 60 percent, and you must return to full-time work within four months.
Questions about the sequester and unemployment benefits
|Q. ||Will unemployment benefits be cut as a result of the sequester? |
|A. ||The sequester does not affect “regular” unemployment benefits, which are paid with state funds. Regular unemployment benefits pay up to 26 weeks of benefits.|
| ||However, Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) will be affected. |
| ||At this time, we are working with the federal Department of Labor to understand how and when the cuts will be applied to the benefits. We will communicate directly with benefit recipients when we have the answers. |
|Q. ||Do you plan to halt EUC benefit payments? |
|A. ||We have no intention of stopping payments to EUC claimants.|