Federal workers caught in the middle apply for unemployment

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Federal workers stage protests against the government shutdown

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Thousands of federal employees and their families are applying for unemployment and food stamps to get by as the longest government shutdown in U.S. history drags on with no end in sight. But for some of them, it has been an exercise in confusion and frustration.

Others, meanwhile, are hesitant to apply, knowing they will have to pay back the unemployment benefits when they finally return to work.

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The U.S. Labor Department says the number of furloughed federal employees seeking unemployment benefits has jumped, from fewer than a thousand per week before the shutdown to more than 10,000 during the week that ended Jan. 5.

The rules on unemployment benefits make no sense to Charisma Banks, whose husband is deployed on a ship with the Coast Guard but is not getting paid. The Chesapeake, Virginia, woman called the Virginia unemployment office to ask whether her husband could qualify for benefits.

She was told no.

The Labor Department says that federal employees who aren’t working during the shutdown can collect unemployment. Those who are on the job without pay cannot.

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Meteorologist Justin Roth weather forecasts can be seen weekend evenings on ABC 36 at 6:30 PM at 11 PM. Justin will also forecast the weather at 10 PM (MyKY 36.2) three days a week. Justin comes to WTVQ from the NBC affiliate in Casper, WY and interned in Knoxville, TN all where he gained the understandings of forecasting mountainous terrains and rapidly changing environments. His forecasts are for YOUR day and making YOUR life just a bit easier. Justin was born and raised in Saint Louis, Missouri, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology from Western Illinois University with Minors in Broadcasting and Mathematics. His interest in weather began at a young age when his parents gave him a book, ‘First Field Guide To Weather’ for his Birthday, ever since then weather has been a passion of his from forecasting to chasing tornadoes. When not forecasting the weather, Justin enjoys exploring new places and anything outdoors. He’s a self-proclaimed history buff and loves rooting for favorite sport teams, The St. Louis Cardinals and Blues. Please feel free to share any outdoor picture you’d like to share with him send them his way at JRoth@wtvq.com And be sure to follow him: Twitter - @JustinRothWx Instagram - @JustinRothWx