Free offers and assistance for federal employees during government shutdown

CLEVELAND-- As the partial government shutdown continues, some businesses are offering free items and other types of assistance to federal employees. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers face lost paychecks on Friday.

AT&T and DIRECTV

Revised payment schedules and waived late fees. More information here.

Bank of America

Call the client assistance program at 844-219-0690.

Chase

Waived or refunded overdraft fees and monthly service fees available. Call 1-888-356-0023.

CORUS45: Beachwood and Ohio City

Offering affected workers and contractors three free workout classes, valued at $90.

Farmers State Bank: West Salem

Offering a 0% interest line of credit with no loan fees to impacted workers for as long as the current shutdown continues.

Lago East Bank: 1091 West 10th St., Cleveland

Free pasta and meatballs to local federal employees and their families affected by the shutdown. Please present valid government-issued ID. Details here.

Wells Fargo

Payment assistance programs available, based on individual circumstances. Click here for phone numbers.

About 6,600 federal workers in Ohio are estimated to be on furlough or working without pay, including nearly 1,600 employees at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.

Many have been forced to cut back.

“I don't go out to eat, which is one of my favorite past times, so being able to come here was a total treat,” said Marlene Jue from Auburn Township, who received a free pasta and meatball dishes at Lago East Bank during lunch Thursday.

Lago owner Nicole Salerno said the family-owned business felt sympathized with federal workers in fear of potentially going without an income for an extended amount of time.

“They don't know when it's going to end, how long it's going to go on, and that fear is scary,” Salerno said. “We realize it's a small gesture, but it's what we can do.”

CORUS45 owner Hillary Zashin, who previously worked in the public sector as a prosecutor, said she was inspired to make the offer after seeing TSA agents working without pay during a recent trip.

“When I work out I can kind of release all my energy and I walk out in a better mood, and if that's something I can offer to people, let them come in!” she said.

She said she has already heard from several federal workers.

“It’s like the least I can do,” Zashin said. “If I can do this little step and it makes somebody feel better, even if it's one person, it's kind of pay back.”

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services said it has had 558 unemployment claims filed by federal employees since the shutdown began.

Federal employees impacted can file for Ohio Unemployment Insurance benefits if they are partially or totally unemployed due to the shutdown.

New Ohio UI claims may be filed online at www.unemployment.ohio.gov.

Those who are paid Ohio Unemployment Insurance benefits and later receive backpay for the same weeks will be required to repay the benefits.

Continuing coverage of this story here

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