As a government shutdown continues, many people affected are struggling to make ends meet. But can those workers file unemployment claims? 13 News now reporter Aaron Le Beau is here to verify if furloughed workers can collect unemployment benefits. Many federal workers and contractors are starting to feel the pinch of the government shutdown. You may wonder what options they have. We wanted to know if filing for unemployment is one right now. Currently, 800,000 federal employees are furloughed. Essential employees can expect back pay, but contractors need legislation from Congress for back pay. Before the answer about filing for unemployment, I reached out to Bill Walton with the Virginia Employment Commission. "Anyone who is not working can file a claim for unemployment insurance," Walton says. The law requires that all recipients of unemployment insurance receive a one-week waiting period before benefits can actually be paid. So far, 225 people have filed for unemployment in Virginia due to the shutdown, and that number is growing. In Virginia, furloughed employees and contractors can apply for unemployment. However, if you receive back pay from your employer when the government reopens, you'll have to pay the money back from those unemployment checks. Therefore, we can verify that government workers and contractors who are furloughed due to the shutdown are eligible to apply for unemployment. I'm Erin Le Beau for 13 News.