Vermont makes it easier for US workers to get benefits
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The state of Vermont is making it easier for more federal workers affected by the partial government shutdown to receive unemployment benefits.
Republican Gov. Phil Scott has directed the Department of Labor to enable unpaid federal employees who have been working to receive benefits of up to $498 a week.
Federal workers who have not been working were already eligible for unemployment benefits.
The state estimates there are about 6,000 federal employees in Vermont with about 1,500 who have been working.
Vermont Labor Commissioner Lindsey Kurrle says about 100 federal employees have applied for unemployment benefits.
Kurrle says that once workers receive back pay they will be required to repay the benefits they received.
Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe, a Democrat and Progressive, says lawmakers support the plan.