Temporary layoffs, standby and furloughs
If you are a furloughed federal worker temporarily on leave without pay due to the partial government shutdown:
You may ask to be placed on standby if you:
- Are a full-time employee.
- Expect to return to full-time work with your regular employer once the shutdown ends.
Follow these instructions to request standby. When you apply for unemployment benefits:
- Answer “yes” to the question, “Do you have a definite return-to-work date with this employer on or before mm/dd/yyyy?”
- When you are asked for the specific date you will return to work, enter a date four weeks (28 days) in the future.
If you apply by phone, tell the claims agent that you are unemployed as a direct result of the federal shutdown and expect to return to work once the shutdown ends.
In the event of a temporary layoff when the employer plans to rehire a laid off employee (or group of employees), we may approve a request to place the worker or group of workers on standby. Standby waives the job search requirements while workers are collecting unemployment benefits during the approved standby period.
To qualify for standby, the worker must:
- Have been a full-time employee; and
- Be returning to full-time work; and
- Have a probable return-to-work date. Workers cannot exceed a total of eight weeks of standby on a claim.
To request standby:
- Workers who have a probable return-to-work date with a current employer within four weeks (28 days) can request standby approval for up to four weeks. Workers starting a new job with a new employer may also request standby within two weeks of an expected start date. Go to your eServices account, click on your current UI claim and look under I want to. Call the claims center at 800-318-6022 (Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. except holidays) to request standby or make the request online.
- Employers can request standby for employees with a probable return-to-work date within eight weeks (56 days) of the date of the request. Employers should request standby using the "Request for Separation Information" form we send when a worker has applied for unemployment benefits.
Workers and employers will receive a standby decision in the mail.
- If approved, it starts with the date we receive the request.
- If denied, the requester can appeal our decision.
Furloughs are a form of temporary layoff that may consist of a complete stoppage of work or reduced work hours over a period of time (for example, a reduction of one day a week for a year).
Since unemployment benefits are determined on a weekly basis, full-time workers whose hours of work are reduced by one work day each week usually will not be eligible for partial unemployment benefits because they earn too much in the week to be eligible.
If you are placed on furlough, you may apply for unemployment benefits and we will determine if you are eligible. Sign in to eServices or create an account.
More information for employers
Claimant separation statement | Notice to base year employer | What we need from you | How we decide on worker benefits | Appeal an unemployment tax decision | Employer FAQs - benefit claims process | Employer FAQs - general | Contact information for employers