More than 800,000 government employees have been working without pay since the federal government shut down just before Christmas on Dec. 21, and businesses are pitching in to help out employees who may have trouble paying bills.
This is the first week affected employees will miss a paycheck due to the shutdown.
Banks, credit card companies, wireless providers and even bars and restaurants are offering deals, specials and waived fees for those affected by the government shutdown.
If you use Bank of America, Chase, Congressional Federal Credit Union, FedChoice, Navy Federal Credit Union, U.S. Employees Credit Union or Wells Fargo and you are affected by the shutdown, you may qualify for their deals. Federal employees may also be eligible for compensation from state unemployment agencies, but it depends on state law.
Wireless providers like AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon have rolled out short-term account assistance and flexible payment options. Contact a service representative with your wireless provider to see if you qualify and make payment arrangements.
A message from Nancy Clark, senior vice president of customer service:
To those federal government employees impacted by the government shutdown: we’re here for you.https://t.co/GKGzAV6Yfn
Restaurants are getting in on the freebies, too -- here are a few chain restaurants offering shutdown deals:
• Fazoli's is offering a free pizza baked spaghetti with the purchase of a regular-size or larger drink through Sunday, Jan. 13 for those with a government ID.
• Ruby Slipper Cafe is offering a free meal and beverage to employees with a valid ID badge or business card.