Tag Archives: furloughed federal workers

Federal Shutdown: Idaho Unemployment Insurance Benefits

This blog post was updated Jan. 29, 2019

Question: I am a federal worker who has been furloughed. Am I eligible for unemployment?

Answer: Yes. You are considered laid off due to lack of work and you need to meet personal and monetary eligibility. However as a federal employee, you also need to be aware of several unintended consequences of applying for unemployment insurance benefits.

Before you apply, please consider the following:

  • You will not receive your first unemployment insurance payment for approximately three weeks after you file for benefits.
  • If the federal government compensates you or back pays you for the work you missed during the furlough (as it has historically), you will be required to disclose your payment information to the department and repay any unemployment insurance benefits you collect during that time.
  • You are required to seek work and make at least two job contacts per week.

Q. Once the shutdown is over, if the federal government back pays us for our time away from work, is this income reportable? If so, how should I report my income?

A. Yes. If you receive your back pay, call us at (208) 332-8942 and let us know.

Q. Once the shutdown is over, if the federal government back pays us for our time away from work, do I have to repay benefits?

A. Yes. For unemployment insurance purposes, any back pay you receive from the federal government is reportable income for the weeks you are furloughed and will result in an overpayment of benefits. Please be aware that unpaid overpayments accrue interest of about 11 percent after 30 days from the overpayment establishment. If you have an outstanding overpayment balance, the department will seize your state tax refund, potentially delaying your refund. If your overpayment balance exceeds $350, you must contact us at (208) 332-3842 to set up a repayment agreement that does not exceed three months to avoid a lien being filed against you.

Continue reading

Unemployment Benefit Information for Federal Employees Who are Back at Work

Q. I am a federal worker who was furloughed under the federal shutdown. I have since returned to work and learned that I would be paid for the time I was off. Do I need to report this for unemployment?

A. Yes, this is considered back pay and reportable for unemployment for the week covered by the payment.  Please contact us at 332-8942 to have this corrected.

 Q. Will this result in an overpayment?

A. It could. If you are a federal employee who claimed benefits during the federal shutdown, you will be sent a letter advising you to call us at (208) 332-8942 to report your income during the period of time you were claiming benefits. If an overpayment results, you will be sent another letter with specific overpayment and repayment information.  You may send the repayment to:

Idaho Department of Labor
Attn: Compliance
317 Main St
Boise ID  83735-0730

 Q. Can I make a payment over the phone?

A. Yes, we accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. Access Idaho charges a 3% handling fee if you pay with a credit card or a flat rate of $2.50 for E-checks. Please call 1-80­0-672-5627 or (20­8) 332-3573

Q. I want to cancel my claim since I returned back to work.  What do I need to do?

A. You may not need to withdraw your claim. If you simply stop filing your weekly report, the claim will go inactive on its own after two weeks of non reporting.  If you would, however, like your claim removed from our system, you must submit a letter asking us to withdraw the claim. It must be signed with a handwritten signature (an email signature is not acceptable). You would be responsible for repaying any benefits received on the claim.

Q. Is there any reason I need to keep my address current in your system?

A. Yes. We will mail important overpayment and year-end tax information.

Read the earlier blog post on furloughed federal workers and unemployment benefits here.