Government shutdown officially begins to affect wallets of federal employees

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Everyone looks forward to payday.

But for most federal employees it was just another Friday.

Many are still going to work - they're just not getting paid for it.

For people like IRS customer service rep Jason Sisk, the shutdown meant his paystub arrived with a big fat zero on it.

"It's kind of a shocker. Its like a rude awakening. You know its happening but when you actually get that paystub and it shows zero...," says Sisk.

Sisk is one of 800,000 federal employees forced to work without pay or go on unpaid leave since the government shutdown began on December 22.

Friday was the first time in the 21 days of the shutdown that workers missed paychecks - and with no solution in sight, many have concerns about how they will make ends meet going forward.

"Still no indication when this will be over and so when that pay will come so in the meantime people's rent is coming due, they're getting eviction notices and a variety of stuff like that," says Sisk.

California is lending a hand to federal workers like Sisk.

The Employment Development Department recently announced federal employees who are out of work or not being paid through no fault of their own and meet other eligibility requirements may receive benefits.

Employees may apply on or after the first day they are furloughed and not working.

"I have not filed myself. I was hoping this would be done. Last time I did and before they even sent the first check the shutdown was called off and we got retro pay," he says.

Tomorrow will mark 22 days of the government shutdown -- to become the longest in U.S. history.
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