Idaho’s furloughed federal workers will pay back shutdown benefits

Idaho’s furloughed federal workers will pay back shutdown benefits

by
Dustin Hurst
October 23, 2013
Dustin Hurst
Author Image
October 23, 2013

Federal workers furloughed during the recent 16-day government will be required to pay back any unemployment benefits they received during the ordeal.

The Idaho Department of Labor’s communication director, Bob Fick, told IdahoReporter.com Tuesday that an expected ruling from the federal government will require the repayment of unemployment payments.

The federal government shut down for 16 days after Republicans and Democrats couldn’t agree on a funding measure to pay for government services starting Oct. 1, 2014. As part of the deal to re-open the government, the two parties allowed for full back pay for furloughed workers.

Only 800,000 employees, or about 17 percent of the federal government’s workforce, were off for the 16-day period. The rest were declared “essential,” which allowed them to stay on the job.

Fick said that about 1,500 federal workers in Idaho were eligible for the unemployment payments, but only 465 received benefits. He did not say exactly how much the state paid to these workers, but did note that the weekly benefit “ranges from $72 to $357.”

Though many states will require repayment, a handful will not. Idaho’s neighbor to the west, Oregon, is one that will not.

Northwest Watchdog’s Shelby Sebens revealed just days ago that a quirk in Beaver State code means that federal workers in that state will get to keep their unemployment pay plus their back pay.

According to the report, 1,300 federal workers in Oregon received payments totaling an estimated $680,000.

Critics called the double-dipping wasteful.

Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen's Congress Watch unit, told the USA Today this week, "In terms of wasting taxpayer dollars, the idea of double paying anyone is distasteful." But she added, "In a period of extreme uncertainty for many Americans, this is an understandable side effect."

Reuters reported earlier this week that the furloughed workers filed more than 70,000 unemployment claims.

Idaho Freedom Foundation
802 W. Bannock Street, Suite 405, Boise, Idaho 83702
p 208.258.2280 | e [email protected]
COPYRIGHT © 2021 Idaho freedom Foundation
magnifiercrossmenucross-circle
>
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram