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2023 Federal Government Furlough FAQ

Unemployment Insurance

This FAQ has been developed specifically to address Unemployment Insurance (UI) questions associated with the potential government furlough. We encourage you to review the resources under “Worker Resources” available online at:

1.Will there be staff available for questions?

Yes, claim center staff will be available for questions. Due to anticipated high call volumes it is suggested to first consult the online resources available at

2.Will the unemployment office be open to process my UI claim?

Yes, claims will be processed. We encourage the use of myAlaska to file your claim electronically at

If this is your first time filing an unemployment insurance claim in Alaska, you cannot file online. To file a claim, you must call and speak to a claim center representative at one of the phone numbers below.

Claim center staffs are available at the following numbers:

Anchorage area callers: (907) 269-4700

Juneau area callers: (907) 465-5552

All other callers: (888) 252-2557

3.When should I apply for unemployment? Should I go ahead and open a claim now?

You may file a claim online at any time by going to http://my.alaska.govand clicking on “Unemployment Insurance Benefits.” However, you will not be eligible to collect benefits while you are working full-time.

If you do file an initial claim while still employed, you would select “Working Full-Time” as your Separation Reason from the drop-down menu.

Whether you file now, or after your last day of work, you will be mailed program information which explains eligibility and filing requirements.

4.Is there a waiting period?

Yes, everyone is required to serve a one week waiting period. The first eligible week of a new claim is a “waiting week.” You do not receive payment for this week. However, you must file for the week to get credit for the week and meet the same requirements as any other week.

5.Will I be required to search for other work during my period of layoff in order to qualify for unemployment benefits?

Yes, because the duration of the furlough is unknown, you will be required to register for work through the AlaskaJobs, post an active resume on AlaskaJobs, and conduct and report work searches.

6.Is the furlough considered a “labor dispute”?


7.What do I need to know in order to start a claim?

To expedite the claim process, have the following information available:

Your Social Security Number

If you are not a U.S. citizen, you will need your alien registration number and work permit type or other documentation that authorizes your employment in the United States

Name, mailing address and phone number of your last employer and the location where you reported to work

Dates of your last employment, first and last day worked

Earnings you made in the last week of your employment

Other deductible income received in the last week of employment; such as vacation, severance or bonus pay.

Additional Information for Federal Employees

8.Are federal employees eligible for unemployment compensation?

Yes, certain federal employees subject to the furlough may be eligible for unemployment compensation.

• Federal employees that are 100% furloughed may be eligible for unemployment compensation.

• Federal workers required to continue work without pay, “Excepted Federal Employees,” are not eligible for unemployment compensation. Even though they may not be paid while working, because they continue to provide full-time services, Excepted Federal Employees are not considered unemployed.

• Federal employees working less than full-time may be eligible for unemployment compensation depending on the number of hours worked or wages earned.

9.What happens when federal employees receive backpay for the time they were furloughed?

Employees are required to repay unemployment compensation for weeks that are covered by the backpay.

10.What documentation is required to file for unemployment compensation?

In addition to the information listed in #7 above, federal employees may need to submit the following:

• SF-8

• SF-50

• W-2

• Leave and Earnings Statement.

11.Are furloughed federal employees required to search for work as explained in #5 above.

Yes, in general, furloughed federal employees are subject to work search requirements. However, there may be specific exceptions to this requirement. Questions should be directed to the claim center at one of the phone numbers listed in #2 above.