Furloughed Federal Employees Can Collect Unemployment Benefits

According to CNN, federal employees are using their mandated unpaid furloughs to obtain unemployment benefits.  Apparently, if furloughed employees clump their furlough days together into five-day work weeks, they will qualify for unemployment benefits.

To humanize the story, CNN features Bill Coleman, a mechanical engineer who works for the Navy in Pennsylvania and earns a six-figure income.  But now that he’s being furloughed, he’ll lose roughly $4,400 of his paycheck due to the mandatory time off.

Bill Coleman, Naval mechanical engineer
Credit: CNN Money

Thanks to the mercy of the federal government, Mr. Coleman is now able to avoid living on the street because the government is allowing him to take his furlough a week at a time instead of just one day a week over a longer period. This recalculation of the furlough period allows Mr. Coleman’s income to drop below the threshold to obtain unemployment benefits in the state of Pennsylvania for the time he won’t be working. According to the report, Mr. Coleman takes more than $1000 of the state’s taxpayer and employer funded benefits, and is able to foot his divorce bill.