If you're keeping track, it's been over a month since the government went fishing on Dec. 22 over $5 billion in funding for President Donald Trump's border security proposal — which includes a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. With the government still amidst a partial shutdown as of Jan. 24, there are nearly 800,000 federal employees who have gone without a paycheck since December. If you're wondering is there's a way to lend a hand while they go unpaid, here's a few ways to help those federal employees impacted by the shutdown.
While eyes are peeled as to whether Trump and the Democrats can reach some sort of compromise and end the shutdown, there are 380,000 federal employees that have been furloughed as a result of the government closure, while another 420,000 have been working without pay. And that lack of a paycheck can be a big problem: according to a study done by the Journal of Public Economics using examples from a 2013 government shutdown, many federal employees live paycheck-to-paycheck and during the shutdown will likely miss vital credit and rent payments just to be able to have cash on hand. There are some federal employees who are even at risk of losing their homes due to the lack of funding in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to NPR.
On average, many of those federal employees make yearly salaries that lag behind those in the private sector by about 32 percent, according to The Washington Post, with some government workers living without pay during the shutdown making under $50,000 a year. For example, members of the Coast Guard make around $20,000 a year and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents, many of whom are deemed "essential" and are working without pay during the shutdown, make a median annual salary of about $40,000.
So, in short, a month without pay is going to hit some people hard. Federal employees are facing some major financial hardships during the shutdown, but there are ways you can help out.