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Nationwide Helps Start United Way Program for Federal Workers

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Some financial services companies are starting to treat the partial federal government shutdown as if it were a massive earthquake, or a devastating hurricane.

Nine companies — including three banks, and just one insurer — have helped the United Way organize a “United for U.S. Coalition” to support furloughed federal workers and others affected by the shutdown.

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company is one of  the initiative’s founding sponsors. It’s instituting a grace period and delayed payments for certain types of products, and it’s extending due dates for insurance premium and loan payments, according to the United Way.

(Related: Sen. Warren Probes Wells Fargo, BofA on Shutdown Assistance Plans)

The list of “corporate partners” for the program also includes Bank of America, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., sent a letter to five large U.S. banks Tuesday to ask them what they were doing to support workers and businesses facing financial hardship due to the partial federal government. The list of banks getting that letter included Bank of America, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo. It also included Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase.

The shutdown started Dec. 22 and is now the longest ever.

Airport screeners working for the federal Transportation Security Administration stopped getting paychecks Jan. 11.

Members of the U.S. Coast Guard stopped getting paychecks Monday.

The federal courts have said that, if the shutdown lingers, they may have to furlough employees and suspend most civil case operations starting Jan. 25.


Some organizations not on the United for U.S. corporate partner list have started separate programs to help people and businesses affected by the shutdown.

Aflac, for example, says it will provide a grace period for premium payments. The grace period will last until payroll resumes for the affected government employees.

Teresa White, the Aflac U.S. president, said in a statement that Aflac wants to go the extra mile for those who go the extra mile for the country.

“This encompasses federal workers furloughed due to the government shutdown, including those active duty members of the Coast Guard, TSA employees and all other impacted government agencies,” White said in the statement. “We have a tremendous appreciation for these committed employees and want to do our very best to support them during this difficult time. We are not only committed to maintaining their coverage, but also to providing benefits should a covered event take place.”

— Read Federal Data and Its Discontents Loom Large as Shutdown Wears Onon ThinkAdvisor.

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