The bank announced Thursday that it was launching TD Cares, a program that will provide a range of benefits for any government worker dealing with a missing paycheck as a result of the shutdown. From Oct. 10 through Nov. 2, TD Bank account holders can overdraft their accounts by as much as $1,000 (or their usual monthly pay, whichever is lower). The overdraft will be fee-free for the duration of the program, but overdrafts that go beyond the resumption of government services (and paychecks) will be subject to fees. The idea is to help government workers who miss a paycheck to cover basic expenses until their jobs are funded again.
The move comes after Hyundai announced a similar program that offered to defer car payments for any worker who can't come up with the funds during the shutdown. Both are publicity stunts of sorts, though we imagine TD Bank's gesture will help a wider swath of the population. As with Hyundai, TD is only letting you defer your payments -- once you're back at work with a paycheck, you'll need to get your accounts back in the black and pay off any credit card bills.
That shouldn't be a problem if the government comes through with back pay once the crisis is over. But as we noted earlier this week, it's still an open question whether furloughed workers will be paid for the time they were forced to miss.
Matt Brownell is the consumer and retail reporter for DailyFinance. You can reach him at Matt.Brownell@teamaol.com, and follow him on Twitter at @Brownellorama.