State will expand unemployment benefits to federal employees

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Gov. Jay Inslee announced today that Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) is expanding unemployment benefits to federal workers who, since the partial shutdown began, were deemed “essential” and were directed to work full-time without pay. This includes TSA agents, Coast Guard personnel, border patrol agents, food safety inspectors, FBI agents, and many others.

Since the partial shutdown began, only those federal workers who were furloughed and not working were eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits. Inslee said this is an inexcusable situation that state leaders should not accept.

“There are nearly 16,000 Washingtonians who are about to lose a second paycheck because of this record-long federal shutdown,” Inslee said. “Thousands of those Washington-based federal workers are being told they must work anyway, and therefore have no option but to hope this shutdown ends. It is wholly unacceptable, and Washington state will not stand by while our public servants work day after day while struggling to make ends meet. We have got to prioritize people over politics and end this shutdown.

“It is unconscionable that the president is turning these public servants into his political pawns. We will take care of Washingtonians, even if the president won’t.”

If you are an impacted federal worker, you can file your claim now by going to the ESD website.

Read the rest of the story on the governor's Medium page.

Media Contacts

Tara Lee
Governor Inslee’s Communications Office