Skip to comments.VA Will Cut Off Disability Payments If Shutdown Lasts a Month
Posted on 09/30/2013 11:37:51 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
If a government shutdown continues through the end of October, the Veterans Affairs Department said it will have to cut off disability and education benefits payments, which could cause financial devastation to veterans, according to the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Veterans Benefits Administration claims processors will continue to handle disability and education claims during a shutdown, VA said. The department employs roughly 19,000 claims processors.
VA has excepted VBA claims processors so that it can continue to process claims and beneficiaries will continue to receive their payments, VA spokeswoman Victoria Dillon said. However, those benefits are provided through appropriated mandatory funding, and that funding will run out by late October. At that point, VA will be unable to make any payments.
VA will only update its main Web page and hospital Facebook and Twitter feeds intermittently during a shutdown, the department said in a fact sheet. VA also said it will furlough its entire public affairs staff during a shutdown.
Call centers for disability claims will operate during the shutdown, but VA said it will close the education benefits hotline. VA will also not operate provide matriculated vets with on-campus counselors.
The 152 hospitals, 800-plus clinics and 300 vet centers operated by the Veterans Health Admninistration, funded by multi-year appropriations, will continue to operate, VA said. VHA employs roughly 250,000 people who would continue to work and draw pay during a shutdown.
A shutdown would also hit burials at cemeteries operated by the VA, which said internments would be conducted on a modified rate.
VFW spokesman Joe Davis said, We have to be hopeful that Congress will reach some sort of comprise before millions of disabled veterans and survivors are financially devastated.
American Legion National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger appealed to lawmakers. Congress has an obligation to put veterans ahead of politics, he said. The fact that funding for VA benefits could disappear in a month ought to be incentive enough for our elected leaders to achieve a solution.
A shutdown was not expected to have a major effect on most of those receiving GI Bill benefits. As best as we can tell from the statements and plans released by VA, most if not all current GI Bill recipients will see no impact to their classes or payments for benefits, said Brian Hawthorne, a spokesman for Student Veterans of America.
Benefits processing will continue, including educational benefits applications, processing and payments to recipients, he said. However, the GI Bill hotline will not be available to answer questions, VetSuccess on Campus representatives will not be available to help the student veterans who need them, and there will be only limited vocational rehabilitation counseling services available at other locations, if at all.
Hawthorne urged Congress to come to an agreement to keep our government open. Millions of veterans rely on many services that will be unavailable in the event of a government shut down, in and outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and these services are essential to effectively transitioning from military service, supporting a family, earning an education, or getting a job.
Obama and the Dems are to blame; they said so themselves out of their own mouths.
I think the longest has been 2 1/2 weeks. If so, a month is probably out of the question.
That gives us a month to write a bill that ensures continued benefits for our veterans.
1. Vets tell the Democrats to pass the Republican bill.
2. Republicans send a stand alone bill for vets.
3. Don’t pass anything, and let the vets decide who to punish.
Its a safe bet Obama will make sure he cuts benefits (despite still collecting all those tax dollars that are supposed to be used to pay the beneits) for anyone that he knows it will cause the most pain just to exploit it for the media just out of spite and for revenge. His deeds and methods need to be exposed to show the type of man he really is.
My VA payment should have been in my bank acct. this morning. It was not there.
> My VA payment should have been in my bank acct. this morning. It was not there.
The GOP needs to call them on this. Its a dirty tactic if its intentional. He could pay for almost all VA payments by not taking one of his 4 vacation trips a year.
When are they gonna cut off power to the White House?
Mine was deposited (in USAA).
Maybe my bank is screwed up, or maybe its cause all the nasty things I post about Obama.
I prefer option #2, but let’s try both one and two.
In this bizzaro world, telling the truth is being nasty? Stand for the truth all the time and refer to it as only such.
I’m devastated. I get a disability check but make no plans to live off of it.
Just to be clear, I said that sarcastically ;-)
This can’t be true! I’m gonna die in week three if the shutdown isn’t resolved. Somebody please help me? (Sarc)
I literally despise odumbo and his ilk. As a disabled vet myself, I will certainly NOT die or loose a lot of sleep over my disability check, other disabled veteran’s with major problems much more severe than mine, who count on those checks will certainly suffer and it is possible, some may pass on.
Why can’t Congress shutdown ODUMBO? His numerous vacations, golf outings and plain wasting of OUR MONEY could go to those who NEED the money and it certainly is not odumbo. Shut HIM DOWN permanently.
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