Resources for government shutdown


JCS Helpline Services 2-1-1:  For assistance with employment, housing, crisis counseling and more, call and talk with a highly trained specialist 24/7/365. Available in English, Spanish and Creole. Call 2-1-1

Mental Health – family support: Struggling with mental health issues? You’re not alone. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) can help. Call 305- 665-2540.

United Way Center for Financial Stability:  The Center provides working individuals and families with a full range of services and support — from financial coaching to free tax preparation and benefits enrollment to employment assistance and credit counseling.  For an appointment, call (305) 646-7171.

Veterans’ assistance: United Way Mission United provides veterans with  employment, legal issue, housing , health care, education and Emergency Financial Services and more  – all at no cost.  To get help, call 305-486-4833.



American Homes 4 Rent, FirstKey Homes, Front Yard Residential, Invitation Homes, Progress Residential and Tricon American Homes are offering deferred rent payment options with no late fees to any renter who has been furloughed.

Residents apply for the deferral by showing verifiable proof of being furloughed.


SNAP Benefits: Due to the partial U.S. government shutdown, eligible SNAP customers will receive February benefits on January 20, 2019. There will not be an additional deposit in the month of February. January will follow the regular deposit schedule.

Farm Share: 305-246-FARM (3276). Offering free food and assistance to furloughed Floridians.

Feeding South Florida: partners with approximately 300 nonprofit agencies in its quad-county service area-

Hunger Free America: launched a hotline and website to help unpaid federal workers navigate the process to apply for benefits, locate food pantries, or find out how to volunteer while they are furloughed. Visit Hunger Free America or call  or 855-859-4647


Financial institutions offering financial assistance or hardship programs:

Bank of America: 844-219-0690

Chase: 888-356-0023

Wells Fargo: 800-TO-WELLS

USAA Federal Savings Bank:  210-531-USAA (8722), 800-531-USAA (8722) or our mobile shortcut, #8722. Offering a special government shutdown loan program to support eligible members who serve in the Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Corps, or the Public Health Service Corps. –

Coast Guard Mutual Assistance: the branch’s nonprofit relief society will be providing some financial assistance to junior enlisted members. The CGMA is offering $550 to married couples and $300 to junior enlisted members who are not married

Discover: Impacted federal workers who are Discover card members or have a loan with Discover Bank may be eligible for assistance such as skipping a payment and having late fees and interest charges reversed if they miss a payment because of the shutdown. To request assistance, call 800-347-2683.

In addition, furloughed employees are eligible to receive an interest-free loan up to a $500 from Check Cashing USA.


Navy Federal Credit Union: 1-888-842-6328 has announced a relief program that features a zero-interest loan to affected members.

FedChoice will cover the initial $5 deposit required to open an account and waive withdrawal penalties and offer Furlough Loans.

Congressional Federal Credit Union: Furloughed employees can apply for the “Relief Line of Credit” with an interest-free loan over the first 60 days.

If you are a member of U.S. Employees Credit Union or Navy Federal Credit Union, and have direct deposit set up for your government paycheck, you may be eligible for interest-free loans.


According to a U.S. Office of Personnel Management fact sheet, federal employees may be eligible for “Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees,” which is administered by state unemployment insurance agencies. The fact sheet notes “the law of the state in which an individual’s official duty station in Federal civilian service is located will be the state law under which an individual’s eligibility for benefits is determined.” Unfortunately, workers deemed to be essential—who have to report to work without pay—are not eligible for unemployment compensation.-


AT&TSprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and DIRECTV customers affected by the shutdown are eligible for flexible payment options to keep services including cellphones, television and internet running.

AT&T: Customers affected by the shutdown are eligible for flexible payment options to keep service including cellphones, television and internet running. Make payment arrangements online at

Sprint: “Our Care reps will coordinate with qualified customers and our financial team to find a payment option that works and keep your service uninterrupted during the government shutdown,” Sprint said in a statement. Impacted customers should call 888-211-4727 or do an online chat at

T-Mobile: Short-term account assistance can be tailored to meet the needs of customers who are federal workers, T-Mobile said, noting options include payment deferral and “flexible payment options” that allow customers to spread their service payments over time.” The company is also offering support to government account customers. Customers can call T-Mobile Customer Care to discuss options at 611 from a T-Mobile device or 877-746-0909 from any phone.

Verizon: The company announced flexible payment options and a “Promise to Pay” program that can be set up in the My Verizon app or website. Further assistance is available by calling 866-266-1445.


Florida Power and Light: offers payment assistance for customers. Online payment extension offers qualifying customers the chance to temporarily extend the due date of their bills.

City of Homestead: waiting on response from utility department

Florida City Gas: 800.993.7546 Email: payments arrangement are being made when federal employees call customer service

Miami Dade County Water & Sewer Dept.: Requests for an extension of time to pay can be made anytime via or by calling the Care Center at 305-665-7477 during regular business hours.

SAMPLE LETTERS provided by U.S. Office of Personnel Management

Following are sample letters that you may use as a guide when working with your creditors. OPS is not able to provide legal advice to individual employees.

Things to consider:

– Speak with your landlord, Mortgage Company, or creditor first before you write a letter.  Just sending a letter may not be very effective as it will take a fair amount of time to get to the individual who needs to see it, if at all.  Speaking with your creditors will enable you to work out the details of any payment plan that you can later confirm with your letter.

– Be sure to send the letter directly to the person to whom you have spoken to confirm your request for a reduced payment plan.

– Make sure that you have all the necessary information in your letter including account number, address of the property, and a telephone number where you can be reached.

– Be sure to keep a copy of the letter.  In some situations, you may want to send the letter by certified mail.  You may also want to fax the letter to the company.

Sample letter to creditors

Sample letter to mortgage companies


Several South Florida museums are offering free admission to guests with a valid federal employee ID:

The Bass Museum of Art

The Wolfsonian-FIU

The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU

Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM)


Resources provided by: 

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2019-01-23T17:11:17+00:00 January 18th, 2019|