(CNN)–The government shutdown that began on Tuesday has had a far-reaching impact, but few have felt this more pointedly than furloughed federal workers.
It is estimated that up to 800,000 civilian employees could be without work during the shutdown and the first wave have already left their jobs.
Some immediately turned to temporary unemployment assistance, and states worked feverishly to keep pace with increased claims.
In Maryland alone, which has a high concentration of government employees due to its proximity to Washington, claims have spiked.
The state usually receives between 2,500 and 3,500 claims per year from federal workers. It received 4,000 on Tuesday alone, the first day of the shutdown over the inability of Congress to approve spending legislation in time for the start of the new fiscal year.
Maureen O'Connor, a spokeswoman for Maryland's Department of Labor, said the state is working through claims as best as it can.
In Washington, D.C., the Department of Employment Services has also noticed an increase in claims and is encouraging furloughed workers to file their paperwork online for faster processing.
Rules for filling a claim vary from state to state. Some have a mandatory waiting period before a filing will be accepted. Others are encouraging workers to hold off for the first two weeks because of uncertainty over how long the shutdown will last.
Even workers who are able to file a claim quickly may have to wait two weeks or more before they receive a payment.
It remains unclear if furloughed workers will be paid retroactively. In previous shutdowns, furloughed employees received back-pay once spending measures were approved.
If workers are paid for their furlough days, they will have to return unemployment compensation.
Furloughed contractors can also file for unemployment assistance.