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Many Unpaid Federal Workers Applying For Unemployment

By Jennifer Lindgren | CBSDFW.COM |
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WAXAHACHIE (CBSDFW.COM) - Friday is payday for many people, but for many federal workers this week or next could be the last paycheck they get for a while.

One family in Waxahachie is doubly affected.

Travis Villanueva is an employee with the U.S. Department of Labor in Dallas. He was one of many workers there who went to the office for just a few hours on Tuesday to tie up loose ends, before the October 1st furlough began.

Then the next day, Villanueva learned that reservists with the U.S. Marine Corps would be off duty, unpaid for the month of October.

Sgt. Villanueva joined the Marines in 2007, and served in Afghanistan. He moved to the reserves in 2012.

“Ultimately, we are taking a major impact on our financial situation. You try not to dwindle on things, but you just start to lose a little hope,” Villanueva said.

His wife, Larissa, works as a paraprofessional at Waxahachie High School, but she says her husband is the primary provider for their two children, a five-year-old daughter, and 20 month old son.

“It hits him a little deeper than you would think,” Larissa Villanueva said.

Travis Villanueva is now applying for part time jobs. The family has made concessions, cutting back on trips and paying the babysitter.

Now four days into the shutdown, many unpaid federal workers are applying for unemployment.

But others, like Villanueva, are hesitant to apply for unemployment. When the shutdown eventually comes to an end, federal workers may receive backpay. Those workers would then have to payback the unemployment. For families who live paycheck to paycheck, it’s not an easy choice.

“We all want to get back to work for the American people,” Villanueva said.

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 01: U.S. Park Service employee puts a closed sign in the window of the World War II Memorial ticket office on the National Mall October 1, 2013 in Washington, DC. National Park Service park facilities and grounds were closed and more than 21,000 of the service's employees were furloughed after Congress was unable to agree on a federal budget and shut down for the first time in 17 years. (credit:  Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 01: U.S. Park Service employee puts a closed sign in the window of the World War II Memorial ticket office on the National Mall October 1, 2013 in Washington, DC. National Park Service park facilities and grounds were closed and more than 21,000 of the service’s employees were furloughed after Congress was unable to agree on a federal budget and shut down for the first time in 17 years. (credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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