This is a reminder that furloughed employees are now eligible to apply for unemployment benefits. Employees who wish to file should do so with the Unemployment Office that correlates with your last official duty station. For example, if you work at FTC Headquarters you will file for Unemployment with the Department of Employment Services in the District of Columbia. Please be advised, however, if funding resumes in the near future, or if Congress authorizes back pay, which it historically has done, you would be required to pay back any unemployment benefits you received. There is more detailed information on this topic in the attached unemployment guidance, OPM’s website, www.opm.gov and at the Department of Labor’s Unemployment Insurance website, https://oui.doleta.gov/unemploy/. The Department of Labor has reached an agreement with DC, MD, and VA to waive the weekly work search requirement for furloughed workers.
NOTE: When you submit your Unemployment Claim, you will need to provide them with as much information as possible. This includes:
- The Federal Identification Code (FIC) for the Federal Trade Commission is 590.
- A copy of your most recent SF-50 (available in eOPF via AnyConnect or by emailing your request to DEC2018ShutDown@ftc.gov) and/or copies of your Earnings and Leave Statements (available through Employee Express); and
- The SF-8 form (see link in Resources below).
This information must be provided to the appropriate state unemployment office, based on your official duty station. The process for submitting this information can vary from state to state, so please review the attached information regarding applying for in your state. Please send any additional questions to DEC2018ShutDown@ftc.gov.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
EAP services will continue to be provided for you and your family in the event of a government shutdown. The EAP national service center will remain open and can be reached at 800-222-0364 (888-262-7848-TTY). Counselors are available 24/7 via this phone number. You can also be linked to counselors in your area for face-to-face services, whether or not federal buildings are open for business. EAP legal and financial resources will also be available by telephone at the same number listed above. For more detailed information on the services EAP provides, go to www.foh4you.com.
Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) Loan Payments
The TSP allows for the suspension of loan payments when you go into non-pay status to prevent your loan from going into default. Normally, TSP requires documentation from the FTC. However, the TSP does not need documentation of your furlough at this time. If your loan payments were up to date prior to the furlough, missing one or two payments will not cause your loan to be in default. You can check the status of your loan by logging into My Account, selecting “TSP Loans,” and then selecting “Are my payments up to date?” Or you can call the Thrift Line at 1-877-968-3778 and speak to a Participant Service Representative. As long as retroactive pay is approved, all missed loan payments will be submitted and posted to your loan. TSP will provide more information as the furlough continues or as events change. For additional information, please visit the TSP website at www.tsp.gov.
As an FTC employee, you may engage in outside employment during the lapse, though you still must continue to comply with all of the ethics laws and regulations, including the criminal conflict of interest laws at 18 U.S.C. § 203, 205, 207, 208, and 209, the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, and FTC-specific supplemental standards of ethical conduct.An employee seeking approval for outside employment should email the request to the Alternate Designated Agency Ethics Official, at firstname.lastname@example.org . Please understand that Alternate Designated Agency Ethics Official is exempt only for this limited purpose and therefore there may be a delay is responding to the request.
The funding lapse may have an impact on your Federal Benefits. Please refer to the link below if you have any questions