How to File for Unemployment Insurance During the Furlough

At this point, it is clear that our next paycheck will be late if it comes at all. IFPTE is fighting to be sure that we are made whole, but there is some pretty impressive gridlock in Washington right now.

We are eligible for unemployment insurance. If we do end up being granted back pay by Congress, we’ll have to pay any unemployment insurance payments back.

Unemployment insurance kicks in the week you file, so it is better to do so ASAP if you need it.

As a Federal Employee, we cannot file for Unemployment Insurance online, we have to fax or call. Calling (instead of faxing) has several advantages, including the possibility of back dating the application (no guarantees) and the certainty that the application has been filed.


  1. The online form for federal employees is at  You almost certainly want to fill this out before calling.
  2. You will need your 2017 W-2, a pay stub, or SF-50
  3. The FIC for NASA is 631. You need this for question 4 on the SUPPLEMENTAL FORM FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES – ATTACHMENT B. Ames does not have a street address.  The mailing address is PO Box 1, Moffett Field, CA 94035.
  4. Calling is preferable for several reasons:
    1. The number is 1-800-300-5616, available M-F 8:00am to Noon.
    2. Follow several prompts to get the next available agent. The system has a call-back feature that gives you an estimated time of return for a phone call. (This is highly recommended instead of waiting.)  They are experiencing very high call loads.  Keep trying if you get cut off.
    3. You can ask that your application is back-dated if possible to December 22nd.       (No guarantees.)
    4. There will be a Wage Affadavit needed/sent since our NASA HR Department is also on furlough. This is why you will need your pay stubs or the 2017 W-2.
  5. If you must fax the form instead of calling (Step 4), you can fax it to 1-866-215-9159.
  6. Register online using the information you got in Step 4.
  7. Once the claim is filed, there is an action triggered at the Fed Unit in Sacramento. The governor has ordered that Federal Employees are made a priority.
  8. Call the California Employment Development Department the week after your claim to get your California Employment Development Department Account Number.
  9. Complete your online registration with the account number you get in Step 8.
  10. Claimants will need to certify the claim every two weeks.       Follow the prompts in the phone number you get, and answer YES to the question asking if you looked for work.