The Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund (FEEA) has processed 148 new furlough-related loans totaling more than $87,000 in July. Additional emergency assistance no-interest loans for non-furlough emergencies bring the agency’s July total to more than $119,000, a new one-month record as FEEA enters its 28th year of operation.
In all, FEEA has made over $139,000 in furlough loans to 234 federal employees since May 1 of this year. Other loans made during the same three-month period bring the total out the door to more than $251,000.
Most of the new loan requests are from federal employees seeking relief from furloughs. There has been a sharp increase in requests from DoD civilians, including employees of the Army, Navy and Air Force in addition to several departments within DoD.
Donations are not keeping up with the extraordinarily high demand for assistance. “It’s difficult for us to raise money in these circumstances since our donors are primarily feds themselves, “ says FEEA Executive Director Steve Bauer, “With nearly half the federal workforce facing furloughs, we are even more grateful every day that many of those who won’t be furloughed are choosing to help their fellow feds through FEEA.”
FEEA raised $103,000 during its annual campaign in May, but says donations to its General Fund are still needed to ensure all who qualify for assistance will receive it.
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.