The Federal Employee Education And Assistance Fund (FEEA) in June distributed twice as many emergency assistance loans to employees taking unpaid furlough days than it did in May.
The non-profit organization which aids civilian federal and postal employees in June issued 82 loans amounting to $49,000 to federal workers placed under furlough due in part to the across- the-board budget restrictions known as sequestration.
The number was an increase from the four furlough related loans distributed in May.
FEEA has in the first week of July processed approximately $10,000 in furlough-related loans, according to a press statement released Tuesday.
The cut in pay due to furloughs has left several federal employees unable to monetarily account for unforeseen expenses and for, at times, even their most basic needs, FEEA Executive Director Steve Bauer said in the statement.
“The dramatic rise in cries for help reaffirms what we already knew at FEEA: federal employees are a cross-section of our country,” Bauer said. “Some are living the American dream but most struggle every day just to make ends meet trying to provide for themselves and their families. It is therefore not surprising that many federal employees are finding it impossible to pay for their basic living expenses when their pay is suddenly cut 20 [percent] in one week, and in many cases cut 20 [percent]week after week.”
Engility Corporation –a government services provider which last year spun off from L-3 Communications — is FEEA’s newest corporate sponsor, and recently donated $25,000 to FEEA’s emergency assistance program in efforts to live out its corporate values, CEO and President Tony Smeraglinolo said.
“At Engility, we have done everything we can over the past year to reduce our costs so that our US government customers can still accomplish their missions within their tightly constrained budgets,” Smeraglinolo said. “We work shoulder to shoulder with our customers and know that the furloughs caused by sequestration may cause financial hardship for some federal employees.
The Department of Defense, however, is poised to begin furloughing 700,000 civilian workers this week, which FEEA said will undoubtedly stretch the program’s resources through the end of the month.
Employees experiencing difficulty financing basic living needs including utilities, rent or mortgages are eligible for a FEEA maximum no-interest $1,000 furlough loan and may apply here.