Government Shutdown

 

Resources for Federal Employees

Contact 2-1-1 Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. by phone, text, or live chat.

 

Employment & Unemployment Benefits

  • Furloughed and now Excepted Workers are permitted to file claims for unemployment benefits in Colorado. Expected workers are those that are working without pay. The Governor's January 18th, 2019 release can be located here
  • All federal workers, both those who are working and those who have been furloughed, will have to repay the unemployment benefits they received after they have recovered their lost wages.
  • There is a mandatory one-week waiting period before the claim is activated.
  • Unlike most claimants, the federal workers impacted by the shutdown are considered “job attached,” which means they are not required to conduct a job search during their furlough.
  • Furloughed federal employees are permitted to work up to 32 hours a week and still apply for benefits.

Furloughed workers can review guidance about unemployment benefits here. In addition, general information about the Unemployment Insurance Program in Colorado can be located here

  • Denver Public Schools is offering part-time, flexible substitute teaching opportunities. Hiring events in January with on-the-spot interviews. More information and a list of required documentation here

Food

  • Food Bank of the Rockies has food pantries throughout the metro area. Find a food pantry here
  • Jewish Family Service is waiving income restrictions for furloughed employees or those working without pay as long as the shutdown lasts. Call (720) 248-4716 and leave a message with your name, phone number and a brief description of your situation. 
  • Broomfield FISH is a food bank and family resource center serving Broomfield County residents.  They offer a variety of fresh, healthy food, emergency financial assistance, and resources to support whole-family wellness.  Visit www.broomfieldfish.org for more information and operating hours.
  • Big Red F Restaurant Group is offering free lunch on select items for furloughed Government Employees, Monday - Friday (dine-in only). Starting Monday, January 14th, 2019 until the shutdown ends. Bring government ID or other proof of employment. Participating locations:
  • Representative Ed Perlmutter is giving free food to furloughed employees and constituents who are affected by the partial government shutdown starting January 11th, 2019. Breakfast and lunch meals will be offered Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. until the partial government shutdown ends. The meals are being offered at 12600 W. Colfax Ave., B-400 in Lakewood, Colorado.
  • Sheraton Denver Tech Center is offering free pizza or salad to federal workers at the hotel for lunch and dinner until the end of January or the shutdown. Contact GM Erik Pederson (303) 799-6200.
  • Walnut Cafe is offering free breakfast to furloughed employees while the shutdown lasts. Present a valid federal ID badge. Located at 3073 Walnut St, Boulder, CO 80301. 
  • Colorado Pet Pantry continues to offer pet food in partnership with local food pantries. To find a location offering pet food visit their events calendar at https://www.coloradopetpantry.org/events/category/pet-food-banks/. If you have been impacted by the shutdown and cannot make it to one of the existing locations during the day, please complete a request for emergency assistance online at https://www.coloradopetpantry.org/about-us/how-to-get-pet-food/emergency-pet-food-program/, noting your situation in the Additional Comments section. 

Banks, Credit Unions, Lenders

Sample Letters for Creditors and Mortage Companies from the Office of Personnel Management. 

  • Federal Employee Education & Assistance Fund offering no-interest hardship loans for federal employees. Visit https://feea.org/ for more information. 
  • Alpine Bank offering no-interest loans for federal employees in Colorado. â€‹Offering two paychecks or 30 days worth of pay. Bring your last paystub. Loans must be paid back within six months. Call 1-800-551-6098 or find the nearest bank location online
  • Bank of America waiving late fees or providing loan modifications for mortgage payments for customers who qualify. Call 1-844-219-0690.
  • Wells Fargo has pledged $250,000 in grant support to help federal employees meet their most basic needs: food, bill assistance, shelter etc., in addition to waiving fees for customers who have direct deposit from the federal government, and offering short and long-term assistance for those who need extra time to make payments. Customers should call 1-800-219-9739 for help, or visit any branch.
  • J.P Morgan Chase is offering hardship programs that waive or refund some fees (e.g., overdraft and monthly service fees for savings and checking, and late fees for Chase mortgage, business banking and auto loans) for customers who qualify. Call 1-888-356-0023. 
  • U.S. Bank is offering low-rate quick loan options for up to $6,000 to qualified federal government employees who are customers of any U.S. Bank product, including mortgage and auto loans and credit cards. Customers can access additional information and assistance via a designated shutdown line at 877-760-6046.
  • First Bank is offering refunds on any fees accured, one-time missed payments for mortgages or credit cards, and zero percent interest rates on credit cards. More information at https://efirstbankblog.com/firstbank-provides-assistance-to-federal-workers-affected-by-government-shutdown/.
  • PNC will waive certain fees and may offer other options for government employees who are experiencing financial difficulty due to the shutdown. Also offering several types of financing, including a short-term loan. Call 1-888-762-2265 for more information. 
  • Quicken Loans is waiving late fees for customers who miss a mortgage payment. Call 1-800-508-0944 or email help@quickenloans.com. 
  • Freedom Mortgage is offering options for mortgage customers. Visit www.freedommortgage.com or call 1-855-690-5900.
  • Nationwide is providing grace periods, extending due dates, and waiving certain fees for several of their product lines including Life Insurance and Retirement Plans. Call 1-877-669-6877.
  • Premier Members Credit Union is offering a Fixed Rate Loan with no payments for 90 days and a term up to 24 months (up to a maximum of $10,000). PMCU is also assisting existing members with a loan deferment opportunity and by waiving certain fees. Visit www.pmcu.org/member-assistance-program/ for details.
  • Congressional Federal Credit Union is offering a relief line of credit, in some cases with a short-term zero-percent interest rate that increases to four percent after 60 days. 
  • Democracy Federal Credit Union is offering a short-term emergency loan with 0% interest. Contact Democracy FCU Member Services at 1-800-742-5582.
  • Fed Choice Federal Credit Union has assistance information available at http://www.fedchoice.org/my-life/furlough-center/.
  • First Command Financial Services is offering its bank clients who are federal employees interest-free payroll advances and other assistance. 
  • Launch Federal Credit Union is issuing a zero-percent interest rate for loans of up to $3,000 to federal government employees. 
  • Meriwest Credit Union is offering a variety of hardship assistance programs for customers.
  • Navy Federal Credit Union is offering a zero-percent APR loan up to $6,000 during the government shutdown. The assistance is open to federal government employees and active duty members of the Coast Guard whose pay has been disrupted by the shutdown, and who have an established direct deposit account. You can register on the Navy Federal Credit Union website, in branches or by phone at 1-888-842-6328. Members impacted by the shutdown who don’t meet the eligibility requirements should visit a branch or call to discuss their situation.
  • U.S. Employees Credit Union clients may call (312) 922-5310 or visit https://www.myusecu.org/loans/personal-loans/government-shutdown-loans for more information.

Telecommunication

  • AT&T is offering payment options for cellphones, internet and television service. Make payment plans online at www.att.com.
  • Sprint is offering payment options for customers who qualify. Call 1-888-211-4727 or visit www.sprint.com.
  • Verizon providing flexible payment options and a "Promise to Pay" program. Call 1-866-266-1445 or set-up through the MyVerizon app.
  • Comcast urges federal workers to call 1-800-934-6489 to find a payment solution that works for them.

Health

  • Eli Lilly is offering support to customers struggling to afford insulin supplies during the shutdown due to lost wages. Customers can call the Lilly Diabetes Solution Center at 1-833-808-1234 or visit https://www.lilly.com/patient-resources for information about patient assistance programs for other medicines.
  • FamilyWize offers Prescription Savings cards to anyone in the U.S. with or without insurance. The discount card offers the lowest possible price on prescription medications at participating pharmacies including CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, and RiteAid. Learn more and download a card at https://familywize.org/

Other

  • B-cycle is offering free rides starting Friday, January 11th 2019. Federal workers may scan their federal ID and email it Denver B-cycle to request a code to ride the B-cycles around town. Email info@denverbcycle.org.
  • Keller Brothers Auto Repair in Littleton is offering free tire repairs, free brake inspections, and half off an oil change to federal employees affected by the shutdown. Display a federal ID to obtain assistance. Visit 250 East Dry Creek Road, Littleton, CO 80122 or call (303) 347-1010.
  • Airbnb will pay hosts who are furloughed employees for an extra night (up to $110) for every three nights they rent out their house, apartment or room to travelers.
  • PayPal is offering an interest-free cash advance up to $500 for any existing or new PayPal Credit customers who are federal employees and are struggling due to the shutdown. PayPal has committed to fund up to $25M of cash advances. Customers can visit www.paypal.com/paypalhelps to access this resource.

 

Other Information

 

Government Benefits & Programs

  • SNAP benefits for February 2019 are being issued early (recipients should receive benefits during the week of January 21). Benefits will not be received in February, so recipients must budget what they receive for SNAP in late January to last through February.
  • Medicaid, CHIP, Disability, and Social Security Benefits are not affected by the shutdown. 
  • WIC, Free & Reduced Price Lunch, and other food security benefits are still active but check USDA for updated information
  • Public Housing (Section 8) for most recipients should be paid through February. More information is available through local agencies and from the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding
  • Federal tax refunds are being accepted and processed as scheduled, beginning January 28th. More information is available here
Veterans' Benefits
  • Compensation and Pension is still available as the VA continues to pay disability compensation and pension benefits.
  • Education Benefits through GI Bill payments are still being issued on time. January and February are the peak times for spring semester enrollment. If facing a financial hardship due to the furlough or a delayed GI Bill payment, contact the Education Call Center at 1-888-GIBILL-1 for assistance (Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Central Standard Time).
  • Home Loans through VA loan servicers, may be eligible for loan modifications, other loss mitigation options, waiver of late fees and suspension of negative credit-bureau reporting. VA can still guaranty loans if a Veteran borrower has been furloughed or otherwise negatively impacted by the partial shutdown. Questions about VA home loans or Specially Adapted Housing benefits can be directed to 877-827-3702. Visit the following website for more information.
  • Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program continues without disruption in payments or services and the VA encourages applying.
  • Insurance is still operating as expected. Both the Insurance Center and the Office of Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance are working as usual to collect premiums, pay claims, and answer calls.
  • Overpayments requiring temporary financial relief from a VBA debt should contact the Debt Management Center (DMC) at 800-827-0648. The DMC can stay or suspend collection activity on your account until April 1, 2019.
  • VA Community Care and Hardship offers options for Veterans with difficult financial circumstances and those struggling to pay VA copayments. More information here. For other focused financial assistance and hardship services, visit here for more information.