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United States Department of Labor
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Information for Federal Agencies

Unemployment Compensation for Federal employees (UCFE)

The UCFE program is administered by state unemployment insurance (UI) agencies acting as agents of the Federal government. The program is operated under the same terms and conditions that apply to regular state UI. In general, the law of the state in which an individual's official duty station in Federal civilian service is located will be the state law under which an individual's eligibility for benefits is determined.

How will Federal agencies know when an employee files a claim for UCFE?

The state UI agency will notify the appropriate Federal agency when a claim has been filed. A notice, Form 931, Request for Wage and Separation Information, will be sent to the Federal agency advising that a claim was filed. A response is due from the Federal agency within 12 days. Most states take claims either over the phone or the Internet. To find out how a particular state takes claims, visit this website:

How long do UCFE benefits last?

In most states, the maximum number of weeks available for regular benefits is 26 weeks.

What is the weekly amount of UCFE benefits paid?

The maximum weekly benefit amount of UCFE is based on the state law; the amounts will vary.

How soon will benefits begin to be paid?

Some states require individuals to serve a waiting week, which means that the first week after a claim is filed is an unpaid week. In general, most states will issue payments to eligible individuals within 14-21 days after the claim is filed.

What if an employee is only out of work for a couple of days during a single week?

State UI laws provide for the payment of partial weekly amounts when individuals are employed less than full-time during a week. State UI laws vary as to the number of hours and/or days individuals must be in non-employment status during a week in order to be eligible for a partial payment of UCFE. In most cases, individuals on furlough status for only a couple of days during a week would not be eligible for a partial payment for that week.

Are all federal employees eligible for UCFE benefits?

It depends. To qualify for UCFE individuals must meet the eligibility requirements of the state UI law where the UCFE claim is filed.

Does the Federal agency get billed for UCFE benefits?

Yes. Federal agencies are billed on a quarterly basis for UCFE benefits paid during the applicable calendar quarter. The U.S. Department of Labor is responsible for sending UCFE bills to Federal agencies based on information provided by the individual states regarding payments made to eligible individuals.