Since 1986, The Federal Employee Education & Assistance Fund (FEEA) has provided more than $11.5 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
But FEEA is running out of money. Primarily as a result of furloughs, it is processing more than a dozen applications a day and has helped about 400 federal employees with more than $225,000 in no-interest loans 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.
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 applicants away.
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 essentials 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.