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South Florida leaders step up to help service members in need of paychecks

Coast Guard personnel, IRS employees among those working during shutdown

MIAMI – Wednesday marks the 26th day of the government shut down and local politicians at the Stephen P. Clark Government Center in Miami are doing what they can to alleviate the financial hardship of federal employees, especially U.S. Coast Guard personnel who were supposed to get a paycheck Wednesday.

There are over 40,000 active-duty service members who are continuing to do their duty to protect us and our borders despite not getting paid. 

Many will not speak publicly because they are bound by military law and protocol. They are also bound by civilian law and many are worried about making alimony or child support payment while not getting paid and the legal consequences that come with it.

"We have been able to work with, for instance, with (State Attorney) Kathy Rundle's office," Jose "Pepe" Diaz, the military liaison for Miami-Dade County, said. "She is looking for a way to make sure she is addressing the situation when it comes to alimony and child care, child payments. It is something she is working hard to deal with. We are also working with institutions, bank institutions, trying to find short loans for them."

Thousands of Internal Revenue Service members have been called back to work with no pay. Last Thursday, IRS workers at a Plantation office rallied to end the shutdown after they were furloughed. 

That office remains closed because they are not directly involved with returns. Those workers are mainly in Ogden, Utah, or Cincinnati, and they are lower-paid, front-line workers who will be hit the hardest.

The Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office says any federal worker who owes child support and may have recently received notification of an enforcement action should reach out to its Child Support Program Contact Center at 305-530-2600 to obtain temporary assistance.

"I have been informed that the Florida Department of Revenue has taken action to place case identifiers on those cases recognized as potentially impacted," Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office spokesman Ed Griffith said in an email. "However, there may be cases where identifiers were not automatically put in place due to the complexities of determining which agencies are impacted and whether the parent is a contractor or federal employee. If there are appropriate situations where active enforcement overrides have not been placed, letting our child support staff know would be essential."

Below is food distribution and short-term loan information for furloughed workers:

Food distribution for furloughed workers:

Friday, Jan. 18, from 2 p.m. - 3 p.m.

Islamic School of Miami 
11699 SW 147th Ave. 
Miami

Broward County Islamic foundation
10875 NW 52nd St.
Sunrise

For information about either food distribution, call 954-907-0157.

Short-term loans for furloughed workers:

Florida Pawn
1944 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood

or

1303 State Road 7
Margate 

*30 days no interest/military lending act rate after 30 days.