Another day, another empty paycheck.
The partial shutdown of the federal government, now the longest in the nation’s history, means no pay for hundreds of thousands of federal workers across the nation as the stalemate between Congress and President Donald Trump over a U.S.-Mexico border wall continues.
While officials look for an end to the impasse, organizations and businesses are offering ways they can help the about 45,000 federal workers in the Philadelphia region. Whether it’s food or finances, here are details on how those forced into furlough can take advantage of the resources:
There are ways for federal workers to get assistance making bill payments and repaying loans.
Banks and utility bills
Banks and utility and telecommunications companies are waiving select fees and offering other options for workers affected by the shutdown. Customers can contact the following companies if their bills become too burdensome:
Inquirer and Daily News consumer reporter Christian Hetrick outlined further details and contact information for the companies earlier this month.
“If you reach out to us, we can delay enforcement actions, including water shut off and foreclosure,” Revenue Commissioner Frank Breslin said in a statement. “We can also waive interest, penalties, and any other charges that accrue once we receive payment when the shutdown ends. These workers need every break as the shutdown drags on, and we’re committed to doing what we can.”
Tuition payments and loans
Collection of unpaid tuition and other university fees from furloughed employees or their dependents has been temporarily postponed at Rutgers University, said President Robert L. Barchi.
The Student Loan Servicing Alliance encourages any impacted worker with student loans to contact the servicer to discuss possible repayment plans amid the shutdown.
Restaurants across the city, including Federal Donuts and Mike’s BBQ, are dishing out free, discounted, or “pay back later” meals to federal workers. Food writer Michael Klein has a full roundup with further details.
Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania are extending free dental care to furloughed federal employees with proper identification. Patients in need of emergency dental care can head to Temple’s Kornberg School of Dentistry on Broad Street near Allegheny Avenue in North Philly on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Walk-ins are accepted until 3 p.m.
Federal workers can also visit Penn Dental Medicine weekdays from 8 a.m to 5 p.m., located on 40th Street near Locust Street in University City.
A number of cultural institutions in the Philadelphia area, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Barnes Museum, and the Academy of Natural Sciences, are offering free or discounted admission to federal workers. Staff writers Bethany Ao and Grace Dickinson have rounded up museums providing relief to federal employees here.
» READ MORE: Here are the government shutdown deals in Philly