Some companies waiving late fees, offering payment options to federal workers
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) —
As the government shutdown enters its 25th day Tuesday, federal employees and those who depend on government assistance are worried about how they will make ends meet. Eyewitness News found out there are resources available for people affected.
Connie Smith, 64, of South Charleston is one of nearly 150,000 West Virginia households that depend on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits every month.
"When you don't get much in your checks anyway ,you know every little bit helps," Smith said.
While SNAP is being funded through January and is automatically renewed each year, the program still requires annual funding from Congress. The programs emergency reserve fund is not enough to cover February, which has Smith worried.
"I'm staying a lot stressed because I just don't know and I hate going and asking for anything," Smith said.
As Smith and federal employees wait, help is being provided. The United Way's 211 website has a list of different tips for furloughed workers and even a list of companies offering flexible payment options and waiving late fees. It includes cell phone providers, mortgage and insurance companies.
Local credit unions are offering zero and low-interest loans for those affected by the shutdown.
"I feel sorry for the workers especially, I feel sorry for them," Smith said. "I can cut stuff if I have to, but they've got families."