Tag Archives: furloughed federal workers

Federal Shutdown: Idaho Unemployment Insurance Benefits


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 receive an overpayment notice and you will be required to repay any unemployment insurance benefits you collect during that time.
  • Unemployment insurance overpayment collections are very aggressive. Your state and federal tax returns will be intercepted as payment if you fail to repay any benefits owed.

Question: What if I am one of the “essential” federal workers who are required to continue to work full time with no pay?

A: You would not be eligible for benefits if you are working full time, regardless of pay. Full time is normally defined as 40 hours per week.

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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.