Furloughed govt. workers offered info

Staff report

As the partial federal shutdown continues, Fulton County Job and Family Services offers the following information to federal employees that have been furloughed.

According to the Ohio Department of JFS, furloughed federal workers can be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP )and/or Ohio Works First (OWF) benefits. Although the worker may have been paid in the past 30 days, they currently have no income and have no reasonable expectation of when they’ll be paid again.

This is true even if the federal worker is called into work and is working without pay. Obviously, all other eligibility criteria would have to be met, and a work requirement may be applicable. For individuals working enough hours without pay, the hours of employment could be used to satisfy a work requirement.

If a furloughed worker is approved for OWF benefits, there is a requirement to report a change of income within 10 days of when the change occurs. For SNAP, the individual is required to report once they are in receipt of income greater than 130 percent of the federal poverty level.

It’s important to note that the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Nutrition Services has confirmed that administrative funding is available through February.

Although the benefits had to be issued prior to Jan. 20, the recipients do not have to spend/use the benefits by that date. There is no change to the spending/usage requirements. Recipients are reminded that these are not new or bonus benefits and that they need to budget through February.

For more information, call 1-866-886-3537, option 6.

Staff report