The U.S. Capitol is shown as the U.S. Congress remains gridlocked over legislation to continue funding the federal government September 30, 2013 in Washington, DC(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA9) -- Regardless of when the government shutdown ends, furloughed federal workers will continue to feel its effects for weeks to come.
Virginia Congressman Jim Moran held a meeting Wednesday morning with local business leaders to discuss short-term payment relief options for federal employees and contractors. But much of the meeting was spent discussing just how hard the federal workforce has been hit.
Samantha Benson, a furloughed federal contractor, says her son asks every day, "Mom, are we going to survive this?" Benson says she doesn't know how much longer she'll be able to keep answering, "Yes." That's why she stopped by Congressman Moran's "Financial Flexibility for Furloughed Employees" Roundtable on Wednesday morning.
"I don't want him to forget about the contractors. The contractors that work for the federal government will not be reimbursed like the federal employees. And it's really devastating," said Benson.
Benson's message was bolstered by hard data from the Professional Services Council, which represents federal contractors.
"82% of the government contractors that responded to our survey have had to furlough or layoff employees," said Roger Jordan, Vice President of the Professional Services Council.
Meanwhile, Brad Cooper with INDUS Corporation says at least three of his employees have quit since the shutdown started.
"They left for a more stable job," said Cooper.
Another survey conduced by the National Treasury Employees' Union found that 70% of its members are having trouble making ends meet,.and 48% said they're delaying medical treatments to save money.
"The 48% scares the heck out of me. People are having to make those kinds of decisions," said Colleen Kelley, President of the National Treasury Employees' Union.
"This is unconscionable. It never should have happened," responded Congressman Moran.
Several local businesses represented at the Financial Flexibility Roundtable are offering deals for federal workers. Dominion Power, Washington Gas, Alexandria Hyundai, and Cardinal Bank are urging furloughed workers to contact them to hash out a payment plan.