Resources for Federal Employees

January 22, 2019

For over a month, many federal employees have been reporting to work and performing their duties - without pay.

The government shutdown affects at least 1,500 Connecticut workers and they are struggling to pay their bills while they wait for their paychecks to resume.

To help our friends and neighbors, I am pleased with legislation passed today in the House of Representatives making available unemployment assistance and interest-free loans of up to $5,000 to federal workers.

The measure, House Bill 5765:

  • Creates a no-interest state-backed loan program during the shutdown
  • Adjusts statutes for collecting unemployment compensation benefits
  • Allows towns to extend their property tax/fee deadlines

The bill was approved in the House, 127 to 15 and in the Senate, 32 to 1, and immediately signed by Gov. Ned Lamont.

To help families in the Windham area, Willimantic Cares will provide assistance to federal workers and their families during the shutdown. Dawn Niles will be at the Windham Town Hall every Thursday night from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. giving out gift cards for those workers and their families.

Those who would like to donate can make checks out to Willimantic Cares. Willimantic Cares is also accepting gift cards and cash.

Other resources are also available:

  • The Lilly Diabetes Solution Center provides help to significantly lower and cap high monthly out-of-pocket costs for some people who use Lilly insulins. Operators are available to answer questions from 9am to 8pm, Monday through Friday, at (833) 808-1234.
  • Hunger Free America - any employee of the federal government or a federal contractor - or anyone who lives in a household that is supported by a federal employee or contractor - struggling financially as a result of the government shutdown can call the toll free number 855-859-4647 from 9am to 5pm.
  • The Connecticut Food Bank provides food for adults and children in six Connecticut counties: Fairfield, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London and Windham.
  • This Hartford Courant Article lists additional resources including:
  • Coast Guard families can apply for assistance through Connecticut’s Military Relief Fund, which provides payments of up to $5,000 to military families facing financial hardship.
  • Connecticut Water will waive interest fees on overdue balances and work with federal workers to maintain their water service until paychecks resume. The utility said federal workers can also apply for assistance through its Help 2 Others program.
  • Eversource has a number of programs to assist customers having trouble paying their monthly electric bills and the company encourages those in trouble to reach out to them.
  • CT Humane Society is making free pet food available to federal employees in need during the shutdown. On Wednesday, January 23rd from 2:00 - 5:00pm, federal workers may pick up pet food (Federal ID will be required) at CT Humane Society, 701 Russell Road, Newington OR Robin I. Groogman New Haven Animal Shelter, 81 Fournier St, New Haven.
  • In addition, the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system is postponing tuition payments from federal workers and their families until the shutdown is over.

Please reach out to any of the above resources for help and, if you need any additional help that my office can provide, do not hesitate to contact me.