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Key developments in the world of federal employee benefits: health, pay, and much more.

Quiz: What Happens to Pay and Benefits During a Shutdown?

Chris Ison/

Breaking: The federal government could be heading toward a shutdown.

OK, so it may not come as a surprise to anyone that Congress has until 11:59 p.m. on Monday to strike a deal to fund the government, or else agencies will have to shutter their doors. What you may not know, however, are all the details of what a shutdown means for you.

Think you know it all? We’ve put together this quiz for you to test your knowledge. You can find a link to the answers at the bottom.

1)      True or false: A majority of federal employees will stay home on Tuesday if there is a shutdown.

2)      Why are non-furloughed employees sometimes referred to as “excepted” and sometimes referred to as “exempted”?

3)      Will excepted and exempted employees receive their pay as scheduled?

4)      Will furloughed employees receive their pay as scheduled?

5)      Can employees use paid leave instead of taking an unpaid furlough day?

6)      What about unemployment compensation?

7)      Columbus Day is around the corner. Will employees at least get paid for that? 

8)      Will employees receive their paycheck for the pay period immediately prior to the shutdown?

9)      Can employees earn bonuses during a shutdown?

10)  Can you, the dedicated federal employee, go to the office during a shutdown and work without pay despite your furlough?

11)  Will furloughed employees still be covered under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program?

12)  Will furloughed employees still have to make their biweekly payments into FEHBP?

13)  What about the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program?

14)  Can furloughed employees temporarily cease their enrollment in FEHBP while in non-pay status?

15)  Will federal retirees still receive their annuity payments during a shutdown?

16)  Will an employee on work-related travel during a shutdown be reimbursed for travel expenses when ordered to return home?

17)  Do agencies have to negotiate shutdown furloughs with federal employee unions? 

How’d you do? Check out the answers here. 

(Image via Chris Ison/

Eric Katz joined Government Executive in the summer of 2012 after graduating from The George Washington University, where he studied journalism and political science. He has written for his college newspaper and an online political news website and worked in a public affairs office for the Navy’s Military Sealift Command. Most recently, he worked for Financial Times, where he reported on national politics.

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