Government Shutdown: Impact on Veterans

Veterans are part of the long list of people being affected by the government shutdown. The shutdown is causing a lack of funds for a lot of their programs.

Currently there is only enough funding to continue veterans' claims and payments through compensation, pension, education and vocational rehabilitation programs through October. If the shutdown continues, and a new budget isn't passed, then those payments will not be made in November.

Veterans Employment Representative Tim Shatto said retired veterans will be impacted the most.

But retired veterans aren't the only ones being affected.

Shatto said some of the veterans who work at Sheppard Air Force Base are being furloughed because of the lack of funding.

Shatto recommends every veteran should plan for the worst case scenario.

Luckily not everything is being impacted. All of the Veteran Affair's medical facilities and clinics will remain open and fully operational.

Here is a list of some veteran services being impacted by the shutdown

  • VBA Regional Offices public contact services will not be available
  • No decisions on claims appeals or motions will be issued by the Board of Veterans Appeals
  • Freedom of Information Act queries will not be processed
  • Privacy Act requests will not be processed
  • VA's homepage will be updated intermittently
  • VA's main and hospital Social Media Web sites will be updated intermittently
  • Presidential Memorial certificates will not be processed
  • Vocational Rehabilitation and Education Counseling will be limited
  • VBA will not be able to continue overtime for claims processors
  • The following groups' phone numbers will also be suspended
    • Billing Issues
    • Education Benefits
    • Consumer Affairs
    • Income Verification and Means Testing
    • Inspector General Hotline
    • Special Issues
    • Status of Headstones and Markers
    • Whistle Blower Reprisal

James Parish, Newschannel 6