The government shutdown is entering its second month. The implications of this are widespread and will soon be felt by many more, in Maryland and around the country, as tax refunds may be delayed, and possible delays and interruptions in air travel may occur. One group of people who are not getting the attention but may stand to suffer more than most are government contract workers, and some have said the shutdown could cause them to file for bankruptcy.
Contractors are people who work for the government but are paid through private employers. The private employers pay the contractors with funds collected from the government, and those funds are not forthcoming so the contractors, in many cases, are not being paid. In addition, while government employees have been told they will receive back pay, that same assurance does not exist for contractors. The total number of contractors is not known but is thought to be in the hundreds of thousands and possibly more.
One problem faced by both contractors and government employees is that the length of the shutdown remains unknown. Many of the workers affected are among the millions of Americans who live paycheck to paycheck. They do not have the reserves to fall back on. The bills continue to pile up, and the longer the shutdown lasts, the less likely that many workers, particularly contractors, will be able to quickly recover from the financial damage.
The workers affected by the shutdown are being hurt financially through no fault of their own. If the shutdown continues, the financial burden caused by unpaid mortgages, medical bills, student loans and other debts could become overwhelming. Seeking the guidance of an experienced Maryland bankruptcy attorney may provide some peace of mind that a solution is possible.