What Happens to Pay and Benefits During a Shutdown?



Important Notice

Any information you supply is subject to our privacy policy. Access to this content is available to registered members at no cost. In order to provide you with this free service, the Government Executive Media Group may share member registration information with underwriters and partners.

[PAGE 1 OF 2]
All questions must be answered before you can continue.

True or false: Excepted and exempted employees who are required to work during a shutdown will receive their pay as scheduled.

False, unless the shutdown ends before paychecks are scheduled to go out. Agencies are legally required to pay these employees for the days they work, but not until the president signs a new appropriation or continuing resolution.

True or false: Employees who are furloughed during a shutdown are entitled to pay for the days they were forced to stay home.

False. Furloughed employees usually end up getting back pay after a shutdown ends, but there are no guarantees. Congress must approve legislation granting back pay, and the president must sign it

Can employees use paid leave instead of taking an unpaid furlough day during a shutdown?

No. Even if you have previously scheduled sick or annual leave, it will be canceled in light of the shutdown.

Will you receive unemployment compensation during the shutdown?

Possibly. It varies by state. Check here to learn about the policies in your state. Also keep in mind that some states require you to return the money once Congress approves back pay.

Will you be paid for working on a holiday during a shutdown?

No, not even excepted employees will get paid on holidays while in shutdown mode (though they will get paid after the fact).

[PAGE 2 OF 2]
All questions must be answered before you can continue.

Can employees earn bonuses during a shutdown?

Agencies can give out performance awards during a shutdown, which will be paid when funds are made available.

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

Yes, you need not worry -- health insurance will continue.

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

Eventually, yes. Your premium share will accumulate and be withheld from your pay when you return to work.

What will happen with your Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program coverage and premiums during a shutdown?

If you are furloughed for two consecutive pay periods, you will receive a bill in the mail for your FEDVIP premiums. You'll have to pay if you want to continue being insured.

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

No, you must stay in the program.

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

Yes. Retirees in both the Civil Service Retirement System and the Federal Employees Retirement System will receive their benefits.

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

Yes, as long as you make a "prompt" return.