January 11,2019

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Nicole L'Esperance (202) 224-4515

Wyden Urges Labor Department to Ensure Furloughed Workers Have Access to Unemployment Benefits

Trump’s shutdown has left federal workers without pay and facing obstacles to state unemployment insurance programs

WASHINGTON Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today called on the Department of Labor to ensure state unemployment insurance (UI) programs are responding to the needs of furloughed federal workers facing financial uncertainty as the Trump shutdown continues. 

Reports indicate that some federal workers are being denied unemployment insurance benefits because some state agencies are requiring documentation that workers are unable to access due to the shutdown. In a letter to Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, Wyden requests the Labor Department issue clear guidance to state agencies to ensure workers can receive these critical benefits.

“More than half of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings, so the loss of just one paycheck puts workers at risk of homelessness, food insecurity, and an inability to get needed health care,” Wyden said. “It is critical that states and the federal government work together to ensure workers and their families can access their benefits so they can pay their bills and support their families as this shutdown drags on.”

A full copy of the letter can be found here