This is day 22, the day after hundreds of thousands of employees received a paycheck that read zero. Adding insult to injury some workers are actually getting paystubs with a negative balance because of deductions such as healthcare.
Here's my paystub for -$280.73, which I owe to the government while earning $0 last pay period. pic.twitter.com/3iUmxbVeCO
— NastyWomenofNPS (@NastyWomenofNPS) January 11, 2019
A friend’s paystub pic.twitter.com/PzQcteHyrI
— Kimberly Stephen (@NotLilKim) January 11, 2019
And it’s not just government workers not being paid. Some healthcare companies are also apparently cut off. NPR reports:
Depending on how long the shutdown lasts, dental, vision and long-term care insurance programs may start sending bills directly to workers.
Federal workers pay the premiums for these benefits themselves, according to Dan Blair, who served as both acting director and deputy director of the OPM during the early 2000s. He is now a senior counselor and fellow the Bipartisan Policy Center in D.C.
Because workers’ checks are not being processed, the amounts usually sent to these carriers each pay period also aren’t being paid. If the shutdown lasts longer than two or three pay periods, workers will get bills for premiums directly from these firms and should pay them “on a timely basis to ensure continuation of coverage,” the OPM says in its FAQ.
While the government will eventually give workers back pay when the shutdown ends, that’s little solace. For those who live paycheck to paycheck, having to skip payments could mean a hit on credit their scores. CBS writes:
Missing just one payment on a credit card can knock up to 100 points off a consumer’s credit score, and it can take several years to recover, according to experts.
Some lenders, including banks and auto-leasing companies, say they are working to accommodate government employees who are not receiving paychecks, but their concessions vary, and some government workers tell CBS MoneyWatch they are struggling to negotiate deals with their creditors.
With the Senate home for the weekend, this shutdown shows no signs of ending anytime soon.