Government Shutdown - Will Military Get Paid?
Will federal workers and contractors be paid?
According to the federal Office of Management and Budget, “essential” employees who stay on the job would not get a paycheck at first. But they would be entitled to retroactive pay once the government is running again. What will happen to nonessential employees is not so clear, though. They would have to come to the office on the first day of a shutdown for up to half a day to secure files, fill out time and attendance forms and “otherwise make preparations to preserve their work.” Whether they would eventually receive back pay is up to Congress and the White House. In past shutdowns, those employees were paid retroactively, but there is no guarantee. Federal employees would not, however, be allowed to substitute paid leave such as vacation time, or to even work voluntarily without pay. That’s against the law.
And military retirees, will they get retirement pay?
Retired members of the military have a lot less to worry about as their benefits are not funded through the annual appropriations process, but instead paid for by multi-year bills. Those checks will keep coming because Congress has already committed the money.
But we have a mortgage/rent/car payment/utility bills. How are we supposed to pay our bills if my spouse doesn’t get paid?
Sadly, Congress doesn’t seem to care. You are on your own. If you have some savings set aside, this would be a great time to use them. If you have relatives or friends who might loan you some money, this is a great time to ask for a favor. The pay will come, eventually, and you will be able to re-fund your savings or pay back a loan.
Our mortgage/rent/car payment/utility bills are automatically paid each month. What do we do if there’s no money in our account?
You need to call your bank, your creditors, your landlord and your utility companies. Explain the situation and ask them if they will work with you and will agree to accept your payment late. You need to make those calls NOW. Do not wait until the pay doesn’t come on October 15. Do it in advance and be polite. You are asking for a favor and they do not have to help you. Be gracious.
Will we be reimbursed for any overdraft or late fees we incur?
Most likely not.
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