How the Government Shutdown Can Affect Veterans

soldier and flag There’s a lot of discussion about the government shutdown, most of which is long, heady and hard to sort through. I know for a lot of veterans, wading through that information to find something applicable is difficult and time consuming. I started wading through this ocean of data this weekend when my dad had made an offhand comment, wondering about his veteran benefits and if they were going to be affected by the shutdown.

I thought if my dad had this question and difficulties finding the answer, there had to be others out there like him looking for information. Then I found this great article on Stars and Stripes – a mililtary news source made completely by and for veterans, active duty service members, Department of Defence civilians, contractors and their families.

In this article, they cover some of the most important issues that would effect veterans, service members and Veterans Affairs employees should a government shutdown happen. Some highlights include:

  • Approximately 14,000 of the departments 332,000+ employees would be furloughed, most coming from the Veterans Benefits Administration.
  • The VA’s suicide hotline, mental health care, surgical care, nursing home services and veterans centers would not see a disruption in services.
  • The VA education call center would be suspended, with some of its web services experiencing disruption.
  • The Board of Veterans Appeals would shut down, and 83 of Secretary Shinseki’s 92-person staff would be furloughed.

But most importantly the article links to the VA’s shutdown field guide which lists out all of the services effected by the shutdown.

 

 

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