A government agency shared tips for employees to send to landlords while the shutdown leaves them without paychecks

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2018 12 27T175956Z_109089149_RC154963DA90_RTRMADP_3_USA SHUTDOWN WORKERS.JPGA sign declares the National Archive is closed due to a partial federal government shutdown in Washington, U.S., December 22, 2018.REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

  • There may be help on the way for federal employees affected by the government shutdown.
  • The Office of Personnel Management tweeted sample letters to federal employees who are losing paychecks, thanks to the government shutdown. The letters can be used to explain to creditors, landlords and mortgage companies why they might not be able to pay rent or other money owed. 
  • Nearly 800,000 federal government employees have been furloughed this holiday season due to the government shutdown. Many stand to receive back pay, pending congressional approval, but many contractors will never get paid for the lost work hours. 
  • Though the OPM can't provide furloughed employees with legal services, the sample letters are an attempt to offer some guidance on how to navigate conversations with lenders and landlords. 

In a Thursday tweet, the US Office of Personnel Management sent out three sample letters to furloughed federal employees. The letters are templates to use in case they need to ask their creditors, landlords, and mortgage companies for a payment break, since the government shutdown has, for the time being, frozen their paychecks. 

Nearly 800,000 federal government employees are currently not getting paid thanks to the partial government shutdown that began on December 22. These include scientists, researchers, janitors, and paralegals. Some have taken to Twitter to share the struggles the shutdown has put them in under the hashtag #ShutdownStories. Many of the stories shared were from employees worried about not being able to make rent or pay for their utilities under the shutdown. 

The OPM sample letters aim to explain to creditors and lenders the precarious situation many workers are finding themselves in. 

"I am a Federal employee who has recently been furloughed due to a lack of funding of my agency. Because of this, my income has been severely cut and I am unable to pay the entire cost of my rent, along with my other expenses," the letter states.

Read more: 42,000 Coast Guard members won't see their paychecks for several more weeks as the government shutdown continues

Most federal employees can expect to see their paycheck for the pay period from December 9 to December 22. These checks, according to a White House guidance, will be issued in a normal time period, between December 28 and January 3. 

However, federal workers - except those whose job is considered "excepted work" - will not receive payment for the December 23 to January 5 pay period if the government shutdown continues.

And it likely will.

Contracted workers are also not being paid. They will likely not receive back-pay since their paycheck comes from companies employed by the government. 
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