I have not worked since Christmas due to the government shutdown. As a government contractor, my company allowed us to use borrowed PTO to help during the first couple of weeks during the shutdown. I have now exhausted all allotted PTO for the next year. This really sucks because I will have a newborn baby who will need me to take him to doctors appointments and care for him if he becomes ill, but I will no long have the PTO to do that.
I am now on leave without pay from my company until the government reopens. I received my last full paycheck on the 4th of January. I will also be on leave without pay for 2 additional months after giving birth to our son in March due having to exhaust my PTO. Our savings for maternity leave is now nonexistent because of the financial struggles we are currently facing. My husband and I are trying to get by on his paycheck alone and will not be able to pay our bills; in particular our mortgage and our car note.
The media focuses on the 800,000 federal employees who are without pay during the shutdown, however it seldom mentions the government contractors who are also affected. Contractors have no hopes of back pay from the government, which means it will be even harder for us to get back on our feet once the shutdown has ended. Some creditors are offering a temporary forbearance that grants you up to a month with no payment. However once the shutdown ends, you are responsible for your payments and any payments missed within 30 days. This is just not feasible for those of us who are not expecting back pay.
I have put out countless applications, but I must admit that finding a new job at 7 months pregnant is no easy feat. Pregnancy is stressful enough as it is, without the added worry of whether or not I'll have the means to provide for my baby once he is here or how I will afford the medical bills. My financial security has been ripped from me and my family because our elected officials are unaware of how to be good leaders. Those of us who are affected should not have to suffer because of this.
We are currently looking into options that will help us scrape by... we have already called all of our creditors in hopes of assistance, but their hands are tied for the most part. This is a huge blow to not only our credit, but also to our livelihood and morale. In a time where I should be rejoicing over the fact that I will soon be welcoming a new addition to our family, I am overwhelmed by stress and dread for the future.
If you can help us in any way we will be forever grateful.
I want to thank all of you who have donated to us so far. All of your kind words and support help to make this more bearable. Thanks again.