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Federal workers must repay benefits

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013 1:15 a.m. CST

CHICAGO (AP) – State officials say federal employees in Illinois who were furloughed during the shutdown have to repay unemployment insurance benefits.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security said Monday in a release that preliminary data shows that of the 2,937 federal workers who applied for unemployment insurance, 577 went on to be paid benefits. That represents a total of $231,174.

The department says that the employees will be sent notices that the money must be repaid. If it isn’t, department officials can take steps to recover the money like garnishing tax refunds.

IDES Director Jay Rowell says the partial shutdown “needlessly scared” scores of workers.

The partial federal government shutdown lasted 16 days.

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