One of the most frequently asked questions Americans ask when a government shutdown happens is who continues to get paid and who doesn't.
The broad answer is that all federal government employees must get paid during a shutdown no matter what.
One of the main reasons for this is that unless specifically authorized by law, no one is allowed to volunteer for a federal agency. However, federal employees' paychecks for time worked during the shutdown may be delayed until the shutdown ends.
But if you are furloughed in a shutdown, as are EPA employees, it is a furlough without pay. After the shutdown ends, Congress may choose to pay those workers who were furloughed for the time they were out, but that's entirely up to them to decide.
Take a look at which types of federal employees get paid during a government shutdown.
President Barack Obama. The president has constitutional duties and so will remain on the job throughout the shutdown.
Members of Congress. Yes, lawmakers caused the shutdown, but like the president, they too have constitutional duties and will remain on the job while being paid on time throughout the shutdown.
Congressional staffers. Staffers who work during the shutdown won't be paid until after the shutdown ends and their bosses pass a funding bill.
Supreme Court Justices. There is a constitutional prohibition against a "diminution" in pay for the justices so, like Obama and members of Congress, they will continue to be paid on time throughout the shutdown.
The same would also likely apply to U.S. Court of Claims judges, U.S. magistrate judges and U.S. bankruptcy judges, a Congressional Research Service report noted.
Federal court staffers and officers. Those who work in the federal court system likely will only be paid for their shutdown work once the shutdown ends and Congress passes a funding bill.
Rank-and-file government workers. Those who work during the shutdown will be paid for those efforts, but again their paychecks may be delayed until the shutdown ends.
Rank-and-file workers who are furloughed will not be paid at all, unless Congress decides to compensate them.
Active-duty military and civilian defense personnel. The 1.4 million active-duty military personnel as well as reserve personnel will be paid on time throughout the shutdown, during which they will stay on duty. The order also applies to civilian personnel and contractors if they work during the shutdown for the Department of Defense and the Coast Guard and support members of the Armed Forces.
Other federal workers. Some federal employees work on projects and programs funded with money other than annual appropriations. These workers likely will continue to be paid on time throughout the shutdown.
To read more about who gets paid during a government shutdown, click here.