With the most recent threat of a government shutdown averted by an emergency funding bill passed late Sunday, many are still left wondering what could have happened if the government had actually shut down, especially the government employees who would have been furloughed from work.

Based on guidance from the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM), federal agencies are required to pay employees deemed essential or exempt from the shutdown, although that money won’t be paid until after the government reopens. In addition, while furloughed federal employees may be eligible for unemployment compensation in some states, they may be required to repay the benefits they received if Congress approves their back pay.

Read more about the government’s policies for furloughed federal employees here: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/furlough-guidance/guidance-for-shutdown-furloughs.pdf