Texoma Veteran Benefits On Hold

The federal government shutdown is putting any new applications for veterans disability benefits on hold.

About 25 Texomans have applied for benefits at the Veteran Services Office in Wichita Falls, since the shutdown began on Oct. 1.

Daniel Reeder is one of them, and said it is just a waiting game at this point.

"She told me, 'Don't expect it anytime soon,'" said Reeder. "It could be weeks, could be months before I hear anything about it."

Veteran Services Officer Marcy Rossi said the applications will be processed at the local and state level. However, they will stall when they reach the federal government.

Once the government re-opens, Rossi said she believes it will take some time to get through all of the applications piling up. Normally with the government open, it takes about three months to two years for veterans' disability benefits applications to process.

Now, Rossi said there is no telling how long it could take.

However, Rossi said all veterans will receive back pay on their benefits from the date they file. So she encourages all Texoma vets to apply as soon as possible.

Reeder was hoping to use his benefits to spend more time with his kids, but he will now have to work overtime and take odd jobs to make ends meet.

"It's frustrating, because we could have actually used the extra money," said Reeder. "But I guess now we're just going to have to wait longer."

Christina Myers