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Fed employees furloughed in shutdown must repay jobless benefits

Furloughed federal employees in Illinois must repay more than $230,000 in unemployment benefits they received during the government shutdown once they receive back pay.

Of the 2,937 federal workers who applied for unemployment insurance, 577 were paid a total of $231,174, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

Notices will be sent telling those workers to repay the money or it will be recovered, including through garnishing tax refunds, a statement from the department said.

“The federal shutdown needlessly scared scores of workers and robbed our economy of $24 billion in growth,” department Director Jay Rowell said.

“Another consequence was that thousands of federal workers turned to unemployment insurance because they did not know how long they would be out of work. Now that federal employees are being repaid, they need to pay back the unemployment insurance benefits they received,” he said.

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