Community Issues

Financial Assistance for Federal Workers a Phone Call Away

The partial government shutdown is causing financial hardships that federal workers and their families were not prepared for. Several major corporations are offering financial help.

The partial government shutdown is causing financial hardships that federal workers and their families were not prepared for. Several major corporations are offering financial help to take away some of that stress.

- Bank of America

Bank of America's Client Assistance Program is providing personalized financial assistance, tailored to the specific needs of customers who are federal employees. They have a priority assistance phone line (844)-219-0690. Or for more personalized assistance, click here to schedule an appointment.

- Chase

Chase was one of the first banks to announce their efforts to assist their customers who are federal employees. They're encouraging those customers to call their special care line at (888)-356-0023. Chase has already waived or refunded any overdraft and monthly service fees on checking and savings accounts from federal employee's November paychecks that were direct-deposited.

"We're here for our government worker customers whose pay may be disrupted." Thasunda Duckett, CEO of Consumer Banking, Chase

- Discover

Federal workers impacted by the shutdown who are Discover card members or have a loan with Discover Bank may be eligible for assistance, like skipping a payment and having late fees and interest charges reversed if they miss a payment because of the shutdown. To request any assistance, call (800)-347-2683.

- PNC Bank

PNC Bank, headquartered in Pittsburgh, wants to show loyalty to federal workers in Pittsburgh who have been loyal to them. PNC is prepared to waive certain fees and take other actions for government employees experiencing financial hardship. They're also offering short-term loans and assistance programs. You can call one of their representatives to find out more at 1-888-762-2265 (7 a.m. - 10 p.m. Monday - Friday; 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday & Sunday).

- Hebrew Free Loan Association of Pittsburgh

The Hebrew Free Loan Association has interest free loans up to $2,500 available for those who qualify. These loans are intended for people who may not qualify for assistance through other institutions and are living in Allegheny, Westmoreland, Washington, Butler, Beaver and Armstrong Counties. Repayment will be deferred for federal workers. Call (412)-422-8868 or click here to apply.

Local utility companies are also trying to make things easier on federal employees who are now without a paycheck. The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority is offering payment plans for bills and waiving late fees incurred during the shutdown. Employees must prove they work for the federal government by providing a recent pay stub to the authority's customer service department, either through a photo or in person.

Duquesne Light , First Energy , Peoples' Gas and Columbia Gas suggest federal employees take advantage of their customer assistance and budget billing programs already in place. These can be utilized during the shutdown. If your utility isn't listed here, check their website for information about their individual customer assistance programs.

"We'd like those customers to know that we encourage them to be proactive, and to give us a call before their bill is due so we can work with them." Jeffrey Straight, FirstEnergy

(Credit images to Bank of America and PNC Bank's Facebook pages)

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