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Furloughed federal workers have to repay unemployment benefits

IRS worker Christine Helquist joins a federal workers protest rally outside the Federal Building, Thursday, Jan., 10, 2019, in Ogden, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY — Federal workers who were furloughed during the month-long partial government shutdown will have to pay back their unemployment benefits, state officials say.

Utah Unemployment Insurance Director Kevin Burt says that’s because those workers have been given back pay. Burt says these rules apply to all industries.

2,100 federal workers in Utah collected more than $2 million total during the shutdown and now have 45 days to repay. They can appeal.

Burt says they’ve sent letters to anyone who will be affected, but most remember paying back those benefits during the previous government shutdown.