Thousands of federal workers and their families are calling for unemployment and food vouchers to save themselves, as the longest government stop in American history is dragging further and there is no end in sight.
The US Department of Labor reported on Thursday that the number of federal employees with staff looking for unemployment benefits has increased from less than a thousand a week before the closure to more than 10,000 in the week ending January 5.
Trump signed the legislation Wednesday to ensure that employees are paid back as soon as the shutdown has ended. But that also means that those who receive an unemployment benefit in the meantime have to repay the money.
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Gerald Tauzon, left, a manager of unemployment insurance for the California Employment Development Department, helps TSA employee James Mudrock, to fill in an application for unemployment benefits in Sacramento International Airport yesterday
The closing of President Trump is approaching his fourth week because it is unlikely that his funding requirements for his border wall will be met
The Labor department said that federal workers who do not work during the shutdown can collect unemployment, while those who work without pay can not.
But the rules are applied unevenly. Govin Newsom, California, for example, said the state will offer benefits to those who are still working, despite the federal guidelines that prohibit it.
"The good news is that we are going to do it, and make them embarrassed," he told TSA employees during a Thursday visit to Sacramento International Airport.
He said that workers in California's employment development department can grant benefits to federal workers who are still working and that he is confident that these workers will repay the state.
The almost 4-week stalemate over President Donald Trump's request for funding for a border wall affects approximately 800,000 employees. When it started, about 420,000 were told that they had to work without being paid, and 380,000 others were sent home without pay. Some of those numbers have been postponed during the past week because agencies such as the IRS have called tens of thousands back to work.
TSA employee Kelly Eads completes an application for unemployment benefits at the Sacramento International Airport on Thursday
Kohler, an IRS tax investigator, will hold a protest sign as union members and other federal employees gather to call a halt to the partial government shutdown.
The benefits rules were not logical for Charisma Banks, whose husband is deployed on a ship with the coastguard.
The Chesapeake, Virginia, mother of a 9-year-old boy called the state's unemployment office to ask if her husband could qualify for benefits. She was told no.
& # 39; They are like, & # 39; Here is where it gets sticky: although he does not get a salary, he is still in service, & # 39; & # 39; she said.
Banks, 34, signed her son for free lunch at school and filed an application with the American Legion. "I do not even know how to go to food banks, but I had to learn this week," she said.
Kohler, a losing 38,000-per-year IRS tax examiner in Covington, Kentucky, will file an application for unemployment but ran into another complication: his application is obvious because the Ministry of Finance's office must verify his claim , is closed as a result of the shutdown.
Kohler said that many employees are in the same predicament. None is approved for unemployment, he said. He said that workers like him are stuck in a difficult position, partly because they are limited by rules of government ethics in obtaining many types of work outside.
Govin Newsom, California Govin Newsom told Thursday that California will offer unemployment benefits to federal workers working without pay
Newsom, on the right, gives TSA employee Miguel Pagarigan a hearty support at the airport after his speech
& # 39; When it comes to the fact that government personnel have to go to a food bank, this is not the America where I grew up, he said. & # 39; It is baffling. It's real. & # 39;
Mick Devine, the vice president of New England at the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, said some members of his union are reluctant to get unemployed because they just have to give it back.
Kathy Catanzaro, a manager of the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, said she sees the same thing: "People are a bit worried about archiving because they know they have to pay it back once they have paid and come back to work." 39;
An untold number of employees also tap on other public utilities such as food stamps.
In Corpus Christi, Texas, Haley Hernandez, a home mother of four and wife of an active member of the Coast Guard, said she has applied for free lunch for her children, and she is waiting for an electronic food coupons card in the mail. She wonders how they will pay their mortgage of $ 1,400.
& # 39; This is a first for us, & # 39; said Hernandez. "Honestly, it is rather embarrassing, I think, that every government official should ask for food stamps or any kind of help that way. You would think they would take better care of their service members. & # 39;
Demonstrators keep signs of protests by government employees and concerned citizens against the closure of the government in Boston