Furloughed feds filing jobless claims

Posted October 2, 2013

— The partial federal shutdown is keeping the phones busy at the North Carolina Division of Employment Security, the department that manages jobless claims. 

Assistant Commerce Secretary Dale Folwell said Wednesday that his division usually processes about 100 jobless claims by federal workers per month. On Tuesday alone, he said, the division had 300 calls.

Folwell estimates there are about 60,000 federal employees in North Carolina. That number doesn't include the thousands of state workers paid with federal funds who could also find themselves idled by the stalemate on Capitol Hill. 

DES has a special queue set up to help connect federal workers seeking help with experienced staff, but Folwell said it won't be a quick process.

"There’s nobody at the federal government to confirm the wages" for workers who file claims, he said. "So, all these have to be touched individually. We have to rely on what the employee tells us their wages were. If we determine that we’ve overpaid them, then they’ll have to pay us back."

Furloughed workers will be subject to the same requirements as other jobless claimants – they'll have to wait a week for benefits and actively search for work.  

Those who do receive unemployment checks may end up having to return them, Folwell cautioned. 

"Once the shutdown is over, if they’re paid retroactively back to Oct. 1," he said, "they’re going to owe us that money back."


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  • pipcolt Oct 7, 2013

    What about all the people that were overpaid a few years ago. Where's that money? Oops that's right Perdue told them all to keep the money, that they did not have to pay it back. A true democrat at its best work...

  • IndependentAmerican Oct 7, 2013

    "...the VA works as an example. If you die on the 30th, your entire month's pension is immediately reclaimed (by "reverse direct deposit")" How does that work? When my mother-in-law died, the bank 'froze' her accounts not allowing any activity until a death certificate was presented.

  • Scubagirl Oct 7, 2013

    so they are filing claims KNOWING they will get back pay???? How nice for them to get paid double......

  • lwe1967 Oct 4, 2013

    So the White House is supporting claims for the workers to be paid and they are also applying for unemployment. Oh my, double pay!

  • PDMARTIN Oct 4, 2013

    Doesn't matter how much they make there is a cap on how much they can draw

  • diana123 Oct 4, 2013

    1st you have to be unemployed for 2 weeks; 2nd all
    these people will be reimbursed just like in 1996.

  • junkmail5 Oct 4, 2013

    Will NC even try to recoup it?
    Click to view my profilemep

    No idea... but failure to do so would be a failure by the republican state government.

    Worth noting thing- IF congress authorizes back pay to government employees... they possibly still won't be giving any to the federal _contractors_ who aren't directly paid by the government, but are without paychecks this week.

  • mep Oct 4, 2013

    They will likley collect unemployment benefits.... then when the Democrats finally get their act together, they will authorize retroactive pay for those furloughed. So they will draw two paychecks while "unemployed". Not feeling sorry for them.

    Sure... they are "suppose" to pay it back.... but will they? Will NC even try to recoup it?

  • junkmail5 Oct 4, 2013

    If they are "unemployed" by this, then I want to see each and every one of their jobs listed and interviews for qualified people to refill those positions.

    Impossible. During a shutdown they can't hire.

    Perhaps you're confused though- If your job ceases to exist, it wouldn't be listed and they wouldn't interview for it... but you'd STILL be unemployed.... right?

    So it's weird you think that someone isn't unemployed until their company starts interviewing for a replacement.... and not when they actually stop being able to go do the job or get paid for it.

  • nighthunter Oct 4, 2013

    If they are "unemployed" by this, then I want to see each and every one of their jobs listed and interviews for qualified people to refill those positions.