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Not Getting Paid in the Shutdown? Start Painting, Agency Suggests

Office of Personnel Management recommends offering to do chores for rent reduction
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2018 12:28 PM CST
Interesting idea from the OPM.   (Getty Images/fuzzbones0)

(Newser) – Stuck home on furlough or working without pay due to the government shutdown? Instead of stressing about your temporarily lost income, ask your landlord if you can do some painting or other handyman tasks to slash your rent. That's just one piece of advice the Office of Personnel Management offered Thursday, tweeting out a reminder to the 800,000 or so affected federal workers to "consult with your personal attorney" for legal advice during this tough time, but also suggesting some ways they can mitigate the pain with their creditors, mortgage lenders, and landlords, per USA Today. Included: a link to templates one can use when writing to creditors or mortgage companies, complete with an explanation of how the shutdown is affecting the letter writer's income and a suggested fill-in-the-blanks plan for reduced payments until income starts flowing again.

A spokeswoman for the American Federation of Government Employees, a federal employees union, tells Reuters the templates were created during a government shutdown in 2013. The AFGE estimates about 380,000 workers are languishing at home during the shutdown, while another 420,000 are still punching in, but without pay. If you're hoping for more advice than this from the OPM, it may not be coming online anytime soon: A Wednesday tweet from the agency noted that "due to a lapse in appropriations, OPM's social media channels may not be updated or monitored." (Democrats say they'll "vote swiftly" to end the shutdown; the president is still sticking by his demands for wall funding.)

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