The information below is intended to be a resource for federal employees who may still be affected by the shutdown which has now ended. These services and offers may no longer be applicable, so please check with the agencies or companies directly for the latest details.
The California Employment Development Department is encouraging the federal employees to file an unemployment claim by calling the agency at (855) 327-7056, weekdays between 8 a.m. and noon or apply online anytime. For additional information, see this FAQ provided by the California Employment Development Department.
- Unemployment benefits: According to a U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) 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.”
- OPM FAQ (updated January 23, 2019) on pay and benefits for Federal employees.
Additionally, many businesses and community based organizations have also offered assistance in response to the crisis for many federal employees affected by the government shut-down. Below are some of the announced assistance programs and offers.
Note on scams: Furloughed federal employees should be on the lookout for possible scammers while they are seeking financial relief. You can always check on businesses in California with the Attorney General’s office. Payday loans or tax refund advances typically have high interest and unfavorable terms. You should also report Consumer Fraud and Identity Theft by contacting the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP, 1-877-ID-THEFT, or online.
Whether you’re looking for help with your mortgage, car payment, or student loan, it is best to first check with your loan servicer to see what options exist for relief. Please contact the businesses directly as soon as possible as it is always best to request help before missing payments.
This list is not comprehensive and meant to provide a sample list of resources. Other creditors including credit card companies, lenders and loan servicers may also have assistance options available.
Financial Assistance programs:
- Bank of America: The bank’s Client Assistance Program is offering personalized financial assistance and can be reached at 844-219-0690. You can also schedule an appointment to meet with a specialist.
- Chase: The bank’s special care line assists customers who are U.S. government employees and those who conduct business with federal agencies. Those customers affected by the shutdown are encouraged to call 888-356-0023 to discuss available hardship programs.
- Congressional Federal Credit Union: Furloughed employees and those working without pay can apply for a variety of services by calling the Member Service Representatives at 800-491-2328.
- FedChoice: The Federal Credit Union has several options listed in its Furlough Center including waiver of withdrawal penalties, covering the initial deposit for new members, furlough loans, and skip-a pay.
- Navy Federal Credit Union: You may be eligible for government shutdown assistance if your pay is impacted, you’ve set up direct deposit of pay with Navy Federal, and you are a Federal government employees or an Active Duty servicemembers of the Coast Guard
- Provident Credit Union – For information about payment deferrals on Mortgage or Home Equity Lines of Credit, call (800) 632-4600, ext 2706. For information for payment deferrals on Auto Loans, call (800) 632-4600, ext 2705.
- San Mateo County Credit Union – If you would like to apply for the 0% APR Government Assistance Loan option, please visit one of our branches or call (650) 363-1725, since a credit check will not be required. If you would like to apply for the Reduced-Rate Government Assistance Loan option, please visit one of their branches, call (650) 363-1725, or you can use the online application. Eligibility requirements apply, please ask the Credit Union for details.
- USAA – USAA Federal Savings Bank is offering a special government shutdown loan program to support eligible members who are active Coast Guard, Coast Guard Reserve, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Corp, the Public Health Service Corps and their spouses and have a deposit relationship as of 01/13/2019 with USAA Federal Savings Bank. Other programs are also available to those who are eligible so please check USAA or call to discuss your options at 210-531-USAA (8722), 800-531-USAA (8722) or their mobile shortcut, #8722.
- U.S. Employees Credit Union: Impacted union members who have direct deposit of their government pay may be eligible for interest-free loans. Interested customers should check back on their website if the shutdown continues.
- Wells Fargo: Federal employees should call the new customer assistance line at 800-219-9739 to be connected with a team member who can assist based on their needs or visit any Wells Fargo branch for assistance.
- City of San Jose – The City of San Jose announced plans on January 15th to assist federal employees affected by the shutdown. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo is exploring the creation of a short-term, no-interest loan program for vital federal employees currently working without pay at Mineta San Jose International Airport. Mayor Liccardo also issued a memo proposing a prohibition on landlords evicting federal workers during the shutdown.For additional details, contact Mayor Liccardo’s office at (408) 535-4800.
- PayPal – PayPal is offering an interest-free cash advance up to $500, the equivalent of one week’s take home pay, for any existing or new PayPal Credit customers who are federal employees, and are struggling to make ends meet. We have committed to fund up to $25 million of interest-free cash advances to help federal government employees pay for food, gas, and other everyday necessities. Use this link for additional details.
- 211.org – Additional list of resources and services that companies are providing for those affected by the federal government shutdown.
- MyFEDBenefits – a list of offers for federal employees affected by the shut down, searchable by state.
Wireless providers Providing assistance:
- AT&T: Consumers who pay their bill on att.com can get started here and DIRECTV customers can go here for instructions on how to take advantage of these flexible payment options.
- Sprint:Sprint Customer Care is prepared to work with federal government employees seeking short-term payment solutions. Impacted customers should contact Sprint by calling 888-211-4727 or go online to chat with a Care representative. Additional information about Sprint payment options are available Sprint.com.
- T-Mobile: To discuss how T-Mobile can help, customers who are Federal employees or Federal government account customers need to call T-Mobile Customer Care (611 from a T-Mobile device or 1-877-746-0909 from any phone).
- Verizon: You can utilize any of their self-service tools or speak with a financial services representatives for further assistance. For support with wireless, call 1-866-266-1445. For assistance with residential home service, call 1-800-VERIZON.
- SamTrans – Free with federal ID beginning 1/24/19 until end of shutdown
- Caltrain – Free with federal ID beginning 1/24/19 until end of shutdown.
Free offers from Local Businesses
- Eater San Francisco – check out the map of free food offers from local businesses around the Bay Area.
- SF Symphony – The San Francisco Symphony is offering free tickets to Federal employees during the government shutdown to select concerts. For more information please call the Box Office (415-864-6000). Additional details can be found here.
- Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch (JARR) – providing food assistance for pets and will ship. There is an application process to confirm that the Federal worker lives in Northern California and the applicant must submit a picture of their federal ID, and a piece of mail or business card with their application. To apply, contact JARR’s Community Resource Information Center at 707-927-3536 or email Helpinganimals@jamesonrescueranch.org
- NHL All Star Game– The NHL is extending free admission to the Fan Fair during the weekend of January 24-27 to all executive branch employees. The Fan Fair will be at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center and more information on how you can take advantage of this offer can be found here.
- Gas – Valero Gas Station located on 4004 Mowry Boulevard in Fremont is giving out free gas (until cap of $20,000 is reached) to Fremont residents who are Federal Employees affected by the shutdown.
- Wag Hotels (Santa Clara) – Wag hotel is offering Federal employees affected by the government shutdown, 3 days of daycare for their canine companion. Please visit their facebook page for the details.
Union Community Resources:
WPUSA – Working Partnerships USA is assisting subcontractors who are affected by the federal government shutdown.
2102 Almaden Road, Suite 112
San Jose, CA 95125
Direct: 408 809-2122
Local Community Assistance Programs for food and other resources:
Community Services Agency
Location: 204 Stierlin Road
Mountain View, CA 94043
Dial (650) 968-0836 ext. 121
Administer a food and nutrition center on site. Receive advice on how to live a healthy lifestyle. Free food can be provided in an emergency.
West Valley Community Services, Inc.
10104 Vista Drive
Cupertino, California 95014
(408) 255-8033 ext. 102
West Valley Community Services comprehensive programs are offered under one roof and are free of charge to low income and homeless families in the west valley region of Santa Clara County. Services include housing assistance, food, and support services.
All Saints’ Episcopal Church
555 Waverley Street
Palo Alto, CA 94301
The Downtown Streets Team Food Closet is located at All Saints’ Episcopal Church and serves more than 200 people every week; entry to the Food Closet is at 425 Hamilton Avenue. The Food Closet, open Mon – Friday 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., welcomes donations of food, as well as donations of time to help serve clients.
St Francis Center Of Redwood City
151 Buckingham Ave
Redwood City, CA 94063
Provides up to five days of food for needy families in Redwood City or Menlo Park, as well as clothing, showers and laundry facilities
181 Constitution Drive
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Tel: (650) 685-5880
Fax: (650) 685-5881
Provides assistance against homelessness.
Sacred Heart Community Service
Church address – 1381 South First Street
San Jose, CA 95110
Main phone number – (408) 278-2160
Sacred Heart offers a variety of services to low-income families and individuals in need. We believe in providing essential services, self-sufficiency programs, and advocating for social justice to end poverty. There is a food pantry, a thrift store, donated items, household items, and other support.
Santa Maria Urban Ministry
778 South Almaden Avenue
San Jose, California, 95110
Located near downtown San Jose, Santa Maria serves the adjacent low-income neighborhoods. Provides a well-stocked Food Pantry services, educational programs and other support services.
The Health Trust
1043 Garland Avenue
San Jose, CA, 95126
Provides food services, chronic disease services, and housing services.
Sacred Heart Community Service
1381 South First Street, San José, CA 95110
Main Agency Info: (408) 278-2160
Main Fax: (408) 885-9071
Sacred Heart Community Service brings our community together to address poverty in Silicon Valley. Through a comprehensive array of community organizing committees, mutual support programs, and resources, the SHCS community is working together to improve our lives.
The Jerry Larson Food Basket
Food bank, meals, vegetables, baby food, and nutritional items are all offered to those who need help.
For more information on how to sign up for services at The Jerry Larson FOODBasket or for pick up dates and times please contact AIDS Services – 408.961.9850; AIDSServices@healthtrust.org.
The FOODBasket is a space committed to strengthening the health of our clients by delivering top notch nutritious food. Three times a month it transforms from a warehouse to a grocery store, where our AIDS Services clients can conveniently pick up their groceries in a wholesome, clean and safe environment.
St Vincent De Paul Society Of Santa Clara County
San Jose, CA 95150
In addition to guidance, direction and moral support SVdP provides basic survival necessities including food, clothing and other survival needs for the homeless and the precariously housed. Last year we aided over 83,000 people with food, clothing and rental assistance; with many being one bill away from losing their homes. We also assist in areas of medical, transportation, and education.
Sunnyvale Community Services
725 Kifer Road
Sunnyvale, California 94086
(408) 738-4321 for Intake
Provides food, temporary financial assistance, groceries, and other aid. Much of the food is free or low cost.
Village Harvest Corporation
Telephone: (888) FRUIT 411 (888-378-4841)
Fax: (888) 378-4841
Village Harvest is a nonprofit volunteer organization in Northern California whose mission is to provide food for the hungry, preserve our heritage and skills, and promote sustainable use of urban resources. We organize and coordinate backyard fruit harvesting, and provide education on fruit tree care, harvesting, and food preservation.
Salvation Army – San Jose
Salvation Army Family Store
1522 Winchester Blvd, San Jose California 95128
A leading social service organization in northern California. Support offered includes a food pantry, clothing closets, and free Christmas assistance. May have toys and gifts for children from programs such as Angel Tree. Other items can include vouchers for gasoline, rental assistance, and employment services.
Valley Churches United Missions
9400 Hwy 9, Ben Lomond, CA 95005
Valley Churches United Missions’ primary focus is providing supplemental food to clients throughout the year. Our food pantry is open five days per week, year round. Clients may come in twice a month for groceries. Clients facing extreme circumstances may receive additional food.
Loaves And Fishes
2150 Alum Rock Avenue (Eastside Location)
San Jose, CA 95116
1080 North 7th Street (Goodwill Location)
San Jose, CA 95112
Free hot meals, government surplus items, fresh fruits, breeds, and vegetables, and more is offered.
City Team Mission
- Community Services
1297 North 13th Street
San Jose, CA 95112
- Men’s Shelter
1174 Old Bayshore Hwy
San Jose, CA 95112
- Address of pantry is 580 Charles Street (Off Old Oakland Road)
San Jose, CA 95112
Telephone number is (408) 288-2185
Clients of the pantry include families with children. Canned goods as well as fresh fruits and vegetables may be passed out.
Second Harvest Food Bank Of Santa Clara
Address – 750 Curtner Avenue
San Jose, California
Hosting pop-ups at various locations to provide hot meals to federal employees. They provide local churches, charities, and food pantries with support, so the food bank can provide referrals and information on children’s summer meal locations, public resources as well as hot meal sites.
FISH of Santa Clara
Location of the food bank is 2499 Homestead Rd
Santa Clara, CA, 95050
Phone – 1-408-984-0682
Emergency boxes of food, fruits, vegetables and support is for low income families. Other social services are available as well.