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Government shutdown 101: What does it mean for veterans?

The Department of Veterans Affairs learned its lessons in the government shutdown of 1995. For that reason, disruptions to veterans would be minimal if the government shuts down.

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The VA will also continue to provide funeral services at national cemeteries, though “some cemeteries may operate on a modified schedule,” according to the VA official.

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How VA might be affected

There will be VA services that may be suspended in the event of a shutdown. There may be no staff on duty to answer consumer inquiries by e-mail, phone, or mail, according to the official. Routine recruiting, hiring, and training will also likely be put on hold, along with fraud investigations.

While the latest round of GI Bill payments have already gone out, there may be some disruption in applications for benefits, particularly those involving rolling admissions to universities, says Autry.

The VA plans to provide a “Veterans Field Guide” with more detailed information on the impact on benefits and services in the event of a shutdown. The DAV will also have national service officers on call at www.dav.org. “If they can’t reach anyone at VA,” says Autry, “they can check with our folks.”

Veterans-support organizations, along with the VA, have long been preparing themselves in the event of a government shutdown, he says. “We’ve been through this too many times,” Autry adds, “and the government’s track record of getting the budget done on time isn’t good.”

Government shutdown 101:

Introduction: What would a shutdown mean for you?

Part 1: What does it mean for veterans?

Part 2: Will I still have to file my taxes?

Part 3: Will Social Security and Medicare be affected?

Part 4: What does it mean for the military?

Part 5: What does it mean for homeland security?

Part 6: What does it mean for Medicaid?

Part 7: How will it affect unemployment insurance?

Part 8: What does it mean for welfare and food stamps?

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