SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- We are on day 21 of the partial government shutdown, tied for the longest in history.

Today is the day many federal workers were supposed to receive their pay checks.

The partial government shutdown lingers on for 6,869 federal workers across Massachusetts, based on a number provided to Western Mass News by Rep. Richard Neal's office.

These federal workers are entitled to receive unemployment benefits, but according to the Massachusetts Office of Labor, only 914 federal employees from Massachusetts have applied for those benefits.

We did the math and that equates to a little more than 13 percent of those eligible - far from a majority.

However, some federal employees may not have the time. Those who work for the FBI in Springfield have to work through the shutdown without getting paid.

Their office sent us a statement saying in part, "At FBI headquarters, certain personnel will be designated as excepted from furlough to provide direction and investigative support to all field operations and select headquarters functions."

If the shutdown lasts into February, there's concern the shutdown will affect more than just federal employees.

According to the numbers from Rep. Neal's office, the federal tax refunds for more than two million Massachusetts taxpayers could be in jeopardy and with the average refund for Massachusetts totaling between $2,700 and $2,800 dollars, that's a lot of money to receive late.

The IRS has announced they will begin processing tax returns as early as January 28 and have vowed to recall workers to do so without pay. The main hurdle to getting your refund on-time could be the lack over-the-phone support if you run into a problem.

If the shutdown extends into tomorrow - which is looking likely - it will officially be the government longest shutdown on record.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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