Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced Friday an expansion of benefits for federal workers who have been impacted by the government shutdown.
Workers who are not being paid but are still required to report to work will now be allowed to file for unemployment benefits. Prior to the governor's action, they were unable to file for benefits since they will be paid retroactively once the federal shutdown ends. Furloughed workers - those who are not required to report to work and are not being paid - have been eligible to file for benefits.
As of Friday, portions of the federal government have been shut down for 28 days due to a lack of appropriated funds. Congress and President Donald Trump are at odds over providing funds for a border wall between the United States and Mexico, forcing the shutdown.
"Those federal employees who are required to report for work are feeling the same economic squeeze as those who have been furloughed. They should not be denied the immediate financial assistance provided by unemployment benefits while being mandated to show up to work," Polis said. "I have authorized an emergency rule that makes allunpaid federal workers eligible for unemployment benefits, whether they are reporting for work or not."
Unemployment claims can be filed online at www.coloradoui.gov.
Benefits must be repaid once federal workers receive their pay when the government reopens. Workers will not be required to look for other work while they are furloughed, however they can work up to 32 hours per week at another job and still apply for benefits.
Since the shutdown started, 2,416 of an estimated 53,200 federal workers in Colorado have filed for unemployment benefits.