How To Prepare Your Family For a Government Shutdown

This blog contains ads and affiliate links which means we accept payment from companies. This does not increase any cost for you and we carefully choose each company to work with. Please view our Legal Disclaimer Page

In the United States, the government shut down, began on December 22, 2018. It is now January 9, 2019 and it is still shut down.

Families are asking so many questions and there doesn’t seem to be many answers, except… wait and see, which some families can not do this.

Then there are others who say “let the government stay shutdown, it is useless anyways.” It seems that some people do not get or understand what the government really does for us in the United States. Here are a few things that the government does but is now not available due to the shutdown.

The Internal Revenue Services: The IRS has greatly limited its functions. This means tax season is greatly delayed. Many of us rely on our tax refunds to help pay down debt, now those who rely on their refunds are scrambling to figure out what they are going to do.

Contractors For Federal Agencies: Not only are they not saleried, but they will not be getting backpay, it doesn’t matter if they missed days due to shutdown or if they did work, they wont be getting paid.

For others who are also affected are some workers for the FAA, Federal IT workers, NOAA, US Fish and Wildlife, USDA, Edcational Financial Aid, TSA, Air Traffic Controllers, Immigration Cases, FDA, and so many other departments and sections of the government.

This means there are people who are working, but will not get paid, ever. There are others who are working, but will be paid at a later unknown date. And others are furloughed without any idea when and of they will get back to work.

>In the end, by the time everything is all said and done, families will be faced with huge financial burdens. Many are able to use paid time off, personal time and vacations to help them, but it is only helping them for immediate needs.

This is not long term assistance. Even those who were able to get at least $1,000 in emergency fund, this isn’t going to cover all of their household bills, just a small portion. For those who were lucky enough to have an emergency fund plus were able to save up at least three months worth of bills, they may just barely slide through all of this.

These families will have their credit negatively affected, this affects things like their job and services that rely on good credit for lower payments.

Why Did The Government Shutdown To Begin With?

One of the reasons is because President Trump has a huge demand for border security. Securing the border is his top priority. It should be a top priority.

Congress and President Trump can not seem to come to a comprimise over the budget for our security, not just the wall.

But there also is a huge demand for Americans to also be taken care of. We have to consider those who absolutely can not work and other variables.

What Does A Government Shutdown Mean For Families?

Now that we are a few weeks into the shutdown, we are beginning to feel its effects.

If they rely on any type of assistance including student finanacial iad, they need to be aware of the possibility of payments not going through.

It will affect mainly those who are federal workers who have been furloughed and those who are working without a paycheck at this time.

David Reischer from Legal Advice gives us some information about government employees.

The ‘Anti-deficiency Act’ which governs how a government shutdown works says that federal agencies cannot obligate funds or contract any work without appropriations.

There are exceptions such as emergency risks to property or human health. An agency controller will go through budget items line by line and try to reprogram funds if there is discretion. Contracting officers will work to provide contractor guidance.

Agencies are required by law to notify contractors when to discontinue work via a stop-work order’ specifying that contracts should cease. Contractors need to document all expenses caused by the ‘stop-work order and petition for reimbursement when the government reopens all military personnel would remain on active duty during the government shutdown and continue to carry out their normal roles.

Any funding lapses would not affect active-duty troops’. However, civilian Department of Defense employees would be effected by work furloughs where they would be placed in a non-work, non-paid status.

What is happening to government employees impacted by the government shutdown:

I saw this on Facebook, and these are things not many are considering, so wanted to share it here.

It’s not just missed paychecks that your family members and friends who work for the Federal Government will miss because of this shutdown.

Impact goes as far as…

1. No payment into their health benefits premiums (they will get a bill to pay out of pocket when this is over).

2. No contribution into their retirement account, forfeiting matching agency contributions.

3. Some will be in jeopardy of losing their security clearance (or job if they can’t keep their clearance) if they get behind in paying their bills.

4. Those who have payroll deductible payments on any loans they have against their retirement account which will be reported to the IRS as an early withdrawal, thus have to pay an early withdrawal penalty and taxes on the money (they can ask to have payments deferred but only after the furlough has been going on for 30 days.

READ  This Coupon Savings Challenge Helps You Fill Up Your Savings Account

5. Fall behind on garnishment payments (IRS, child support) which can put them in arrears and possibly face more financial problems because the back payments might be taken out all at one time once they are back in pay status.

6. Those who retired doing this time paperwork maybe still pending which further delays receiving a retirement check for about another 3-4 months.

7. Will not earn annual or sick leave.

8. Promotions delayed and can’t be processed retroactively. This impact the money contributed to retirement plan, and eligibility effective date of next promotion, and /or step increase.

9. In some cases, employees have to get permission to get a second job but the people who usually approve those requests are furloughed too.

10. If they apply for unemployment, they will have to pay it back if “they” decide to pay the employees back.

11. If the employee gets paid back the money will be put on one check, and the employee will be taxed more, and still lose money.

12. Employees who elect to participate in Flex spending, long-term care, extra dental or eye care plan, or not contributing to those programs which in turn impact their health benefits.

13. If a family member dies during this time who worked for the Federal government no personnel to process beneficiary paperwork, etc….. possibly leaving family without insurance money to bury their loved one.

This list could go on, but please don’t believe every Fed wants this wall greater than the things mentioned, or not mentioned on this list.

Please note this furlough also have an impact on other government agencies and businesses that need these closed agencies programs and support. I hope a pilot is not eligible for a physical to keep his license, or controller who needs to be medically cleared to return to work.

It already takes veterans forever to get services, and please don’t have a new social security claim. It’s amazing how the president is willing to punish his employees, put us in another recession, just to keep the people he hates on the other side of the border.

  • The sad thing about this is Federal employees have to be careful how they take a stance because standing up for what’s right could lead to termination once folks get back to work to process the paperwork.

What Can Families Expect During A Government Shutdown?

Please do not panic about not recieving your SNAP or WIC benefits! According to the USDA, there are enough funds until Febuary, please only check their website to get the correct information needed. I see all the panic and fear going on that these programs will not be giving families their funds.

Taxes and The IRS

Leslie Tayne has shared her experise with us, here is what leslie says.

One of the most prominent ramifications of the government shutdown is the effect on the IRS. As a result of disruptions in the IRS, tax refunds may be delayed.

Many families rely on their tax refunds to be able to pay down debts. In order to prepare for the delay in receiving refunds, families should carefully monitor their spending in the meantime.

If possible, avoid adding to your debt while you wait for the refund if you were going to use that refund to pay down your debt. If you were using that money for other purchases, you might want to consider getting your taxes prepared and submitted sooner, ahead of the April 15th deadline. Note that this does not affect your state taxes or any refunds you might receive through the state.

You might also delay purchases and financial commitments that you were relying on until the money actually arrives in order to not put yourself in a compromising financial position where you could end up with more debt and limited ability or inability to repay.  

Revisiting your intended use of the funds and what other sources you have would be a good exercise at this time. You may even consider a call to your creditors to let them know your situation and see if they offer options for lowered interest rates or extension of programs you are already involved in that are helping to keep your debt down.

Families On Government Assistance

Leslie Tayne also shared her insight on this topic too.

If the shutdown drags on into February, even more families will be affected. Federal government assistance programs such as food stamps are only fully funded through the month of January.

The food stamp program has some money in reserve for February, but it is not estimated to be enough to fully cover the program for the month. Families who could be affected by this should stay up-to-date on what could be coming. These families already have tight budgets, but every penny that can be saved now can help if this nightmare becomes reality.

READ  How To Budget Your TANF, WIC and Foodstamps To Last All Month

Food banks are also suffering as a result of the shutdown but are working to prepare for an increased volume of people in need should the shutdown continue into February. Seeking out resources now can be helpful if the situation gets worse.  

Additionally, federal student loan student loan servicers are still running, and federal student aid applications are still being processed. However, some students, who need income verification documents from the IRS, are experiencing delays in receiving the paperwork necessary to receive student aid.

Federal student loan consolidation applications are also not being reviewed at this time, and you will not be able to reach a customer service representative about federal student aid through the Department of Education.

What Can Families Do During A Government Shutdown?

Stock Up On Essentials!

Essetials that you should always have on hand are mixed veggies, beans, rice, canned tuna, peanut butter, and chicken if possible.

If you are doing our Coupon Savings Challenge, hopefully you have a variety of stocked up foods in your pantry. If you don’t, check out our Stock Your Pantry post for ways to get it stocked.

I know many of you know about food pantries, but it can be really helpful. Even if their own shelves are bare, which some are, they have respurces to connect you to.

Local churches can also help.

If you have some food, get together with some neighbors and put together a neighborhood potluck type of event. Sharing foods with one another can help yourself, your family and other too in various ways. Someone may have an ingredient you need to complete a meal and you may have something they need to complete a meal. So, get together with your neighbors and put together some great meals together.

>Remember the most important piece to making ends meet with meals. Portion Sizes! You wil be very impressed with yourself when you follow recommended serviing sizes and the affect it has on how long your food lasts.

Trish from BabyQuip says she is seeing federal workers coming to her platform to help with bringing in some sort of income.

Some government workers are turning to the gig economy to bring in a little money while they are forced to sit this shutdown out.


We are a baby gear rental marketplace (like an Airbnb, but for baby gear) and we’ve noticed two people come through our intake process this week who said the shutdown has made them decide to get their side gig going right now. We are small compared to Uber or Rover or other gig economy platforms, but my guess is that a lot of the popular gig sites are getting extra applicants right now.

How Can Families Prepare Themselves In The EVent Of A Government Shutdown In The Future?

How Has The Government Shutdown Personally Afftected You?

Comment below or use this form to let us know your Personal Government Shutdown Story

Meet The Experts Who Helped Give Us Tips and Information About The Government Shutdown

Leslie Tayne Tayne Law Group

Financial Debt Resolution Attorney and Author of life & Debt Leslie H. Tayne of Tayne Law Group, P.C.has 20 years’ experience in the practice area of consumer and business financial debt-related services. With the government shutdown now continuing into the third week, the personal finance ramifications continue to grow. Leslie is well-versed in the effects of the government shutdown on families who use their tax refunds to pay down debt, families who rely on government assistance and families of furloughed government employees.

Thank You @LeslieHTayneEsq for great advice about what families can expect and do during the #governmentshutdown Thank The Expert

Check out Leslie’s website and grab her book too.

leslie tayne. tayne law group

Trish from BabyQuip

BabyQuip is the leading baby gear service and branded multi-sided marketplace, providing traveling families with baby equipment they need to enjoy a home-like experience while staying at hotels, vacation rentals or private residences.

The company leverages independent, gig economy baby gear rental entrepreneurs, called Quality Providers (QPs), who deliver, setup, pickup and clean, the quality baby gear they own. QPs, mostly moms, build a business on the BabyQuip platform and receive insurance, ongoing coaching and business mentoring. They enjoy the flexibility of the work and develop entrepreneurial skills while helping families pack light and travel happy.

Thank you @BabyQuipCorp for telling us a way to bring in some extra income during the #governmentshutdown Thank The Contributor
baby equipment rentals

David from Legal Advice

The Legal Advice mission is to provide affordable legal access to consumers that are in need of high-quality legal advice. The Internet has created the unique opportunity to help consumers that want to solve a legal problem from the comfort of their home.  Check out their pro bono section as well!

Thank you Legal Advice for the insight about how the #governmentshutdown will affect government employees Thank The Expert
free legal advice
government shutdown
Hits: 581
vote
Article Rating

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
16 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
16
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x
Login/Register access is temporary disabled