Contact: Robyn Kehoe, 202-554-0007
Lakewood, CO (August 14, 2013) – The Federal Employee Education & Assistance Fund is processing more than a dozen applications each day and has now helped nearly 400 federal employees with paychecks reduced due to furloughs. Feds have received more than $225,000 in no-interest loans from FEEA since May 1, 2013. Total loans during the same period have now stretched past $350,000 – more than half of FEEA’s emergency assistance output for all of 2012 in just over three months.
Although reductions in number of furlough days announced last week by DoD and HUD are good news for feds, FEEA still has more than 500 applications pending and is receiving more each day. The furlough crisis has strained FEEA’s budget and the agency is now in danger of having to turn away those in need due to a lack funds.
Many of the employees who have been coming to FEEA for help already have tight budgets and, although they cut back where they could in anticipation of being furloughed, were simply not able to save enough to make up for the loss of pay. Feds like Terry Graley, a DoD employee in Virgina, whose pay loss was almost equal to the amount of his rent; or Jennifer Pearson, an IRS employee in Maryland, whose husband works for a company that shut down for a week just as Pearson was also experiencing furlough days; or DLA employee Delvin Baldwin who is the sole provider for a family of five and recently had to take leave without pay due to an extended illness. These hardworking men and woman were doing the best they could to make ends meet under normal circumstances and furlough pay loss made it impossible to pay the rent this month without assistance.
"So far, we have been able to help all qualified applicants who have come through the door," said FEEA Executive Director Steve Bauer, "but that may not be the case by the end of this month if we don't receive significant new donations. There are hundreds of applications still in the pipeline and we have already dipped into FEEA's meager reserves in order to keep going. The combination of the financial crash and several years of no pay raises for feds has heavily impacted federal families and increased demand for FEEA's emergency loan program year after year. Widespread furloughs may, unfortunately, be the straw that breaks us."
Donations to FEEA's General Fund are urgently needed to ensure all who qualify for assistance will receive it. Donations may be made via credit card on FEEA's web site at www.feea.org/Give. Donations via check made out to "FEEA" may be sent to: FEEA Headquarters, 3333 S. Wadsworth Blvd., Suite 300, Lakewood, CO 80227.
In order to apply for a furlough loan, employees must meet FEEA’s general guidelines for financial need. They must be having trouble paying for basic living needs like rent/mortgage or utilities and the maximum no-interest loan amount is $1,000. Furlough loans are only made after an employee actually receives a "short" paycheck and meets the other loan criteria. Those seeking FEEA loans should complete the regular Emergency Assistance application available at www.feea.org/furloughs.
FEEA is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) agency, primarily funded through federal employee contributions to FEEA CFC Pledge #11185 and donations to special relief funds. Since 1986, FEEA has provided more than id="mce_marker"1.5 million in scholarships to civilian federal employees and their dependents. The FEEA Emergency Assistance Program has provided more than $9 million in financial assistance to federal families experiencing natural disasters such as floods, fires and hurricanes, and to those experiencing unforeseen personal emergencies such as illness or death in the family. FEEA also receives both monetary and in-kind support from corporate sponsors BlueCross/BlueShield Association, GEICO, Long Term Care Partners, Engility Corporation, Compass Rose Charities, and Federal News Radio. For more information about FEEA, visit www.feea.org or call 303-933-7580.