From Luz Lazo:
The shutdown of the federal government this week has left some area residents turning to their local government for some answers.
Non-emergency call centers and the social media accounts of local governments across the region are hearing from hundreds of residents wanting to know if their local services are impacted, if tax deadlines have been extended, and if they can start applying for unemployment benefits. Some want to know what’s open and what’s closed in the area.
Local officials say they want to remind residents that the local governments are open, and service, including trash pickups, are not interrupted during the federal shutdown.
In Prince George’s County, the 311 Call Center has received more than 500 calls since Tuesday, said Jennifer Hawkins, the center’s manager.
Between 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. on Tuesday, the center received about 200 calls from federal workers who weren’t sure if they needed to report to work, Hawkins said. And on Thursday federal workers who reside in the county have been asking about unemployment benefits, she said.
It has been a busy week, officials say. The main numbers have been bombarded with calls about Obamacare. Prince George’s, Montgomery and Fairfax counties are home to tens of thousands of federal workers.
In Prince George’s, residents inquiring about unemployment benefits are directed to the Maryland division of unemployment insurance or call 301-313-8000.
The Fairfax County main number has received about 100 calls since Tuesday and dozens of inquiries through the county’s main mailbox and social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.
Fairfax residents have also been asking if the personal property tax deadline of Oct. 7 would be extended due to the shutdown, said Jeremy Lasich, a county spokesman.
Sorry, the answer to that is “No, it won’t,” Lasich said.
Residents seeking information about personal assistance can find more information here.