Government shutdown 101: 12 ways it could affect you

A federal employee holds up a sign protesting the effects of sequestration in May. Federal workers are now getting hit by a government shutdown. Lucas Jackson/Reuters/File

With Congress failing to fund the federal government by Oct. 1, the start of the new fiscal year, the government has gone into partial shutdown. Some government functions – those deemed essential – are continuing as usual, while others are suspended. More than 800,000 of about 2.9 million federal employees are likely to be furloughed, according to media estimates.

Here is a list of what's open, and what isn't, during the shutdown (with updates made on Oct. 1).

1. What happens to national defense?

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    Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel addressed employees' concerns about budget-cutting furloughs at a town hall meeting in Alexandria, Va., in May. Civilian workers are now facing more furloughs.
    Yuri Gripas/Reuters/File
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As with all government agencies, essential services continue to be performed, as determined by the heads of the agencies.

“Military personnel would continue in a normal duty status,” a Department of Defense memo stated Sept. 23, adding that a “large number” of the Department of Defense’s civilian employees would still be temporarily furloughed.

Two types of Defense employees escape furlough: one, if they are “performing emergency work involving the safety of human life or the protection of property”; and two, those whose jobs are not funded by Congress via annual appropriations. All others face a furlough, which bars them from working, including as a volunteer.

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