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Federal workers impacted by a government shutdown may file for unemployment while temporarily unemployed; however, if backpay wages are awarded upon the conclusion of the shutdown, workers will be required to pay back unemployment benefits.

The Federal Bonding Program provides individual fidelity bonds to employers for job applicants who are deemed unbondable by commercial carriers. Bonds are issued in increments of $5,000, up to $25,000, and are available at no cost to employers or job candidates. The applicant is covered for the first six months of employment, but the employer may purchase additional coverage after this period if they desire.

What is Fidelity Bonding?

Many employers carry insurance to protect themselves against employee theft or dishonesty. Employees who handle money, valuable tools or goods are covered. This insurance is called fidelity bonding. When such commercial insurance is denied because of an individual’s background, the employer often denies a job to that person.

This is not cash-in-hand. This is an insurance coverage dollar amount.

Any "at-risk" job candidate is eligible for bonding services, including:

  • Ex-offenders & other justice-involved individuals
  • Individuals with a history of substance abuse
  • TANF or public assistance recipients
  • Individuals with poor credit records
  • Economically disadvantaged individuals with little or no work history
  • Individuals dishonorably discharged from the military
  • Anyone who cannot secure employment because they are not commercially bondable

For an employer to receive a federal bond, they must have extended a firm job offer to a job candidate that is qualified for the job. The job itself must offer steady work with a reasonable expectation of being permanent.

The bond does not cover liability due to poor workmanship, job injuries, or work accidents. It is not a bail bond or court bond for the legal system. It is not a contract bond, a performance bond, or a license bond sometimes needed to be self-employed.

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