While veterans are more protected than other constituencies, a government shutdown could still cause disruption in the veterans community. In October 2013, there was a 16 day shutdown of the government due to an appropriations lapse. Department of Defense (DoD) operations and personnel were greatly impacted. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) operations were also impacted, although less extensively. We expect that we would see similar outcomes to DoD and VA if there were a 2017 shutdown, too.
What would a 2017 government shutdown mean for veterans?
The VA gets funded earlier in the year, so a shut down this late in the year likely won’t have a huge impact on programs and services– for example, VA medical centers, clinics and other health services would remain open, and GI Bill benefits would not be impacted. Additionally, claims processing and payments in the compensation, pension, education, and vocational rehabilitation programs would likely not be impacted by a government shutdown in the near term.
Some VA programs would be impacted by the shutdown, though. Information hotlines and job training programs would be halted, according to 2013 guidance from the VA.
If anything changes, or if VA gives further guidance, IAVA will update this blog with relevant information for all veterans.
How can IAVA help in the event of a shutdown?
As Congress remains gridlocked on many issues, there remains a great deal of confusion and uncertainty for veterans.
IAVA’s case managers are trained to help veterans navigate all types of transition issues. If the government shutdown happens and affects your benefits, livelihood, or well being and you need support, contact us at 855-91-RAPID (72743). We can get you connected to resources and help minimize the disruption to your life. In the meantime, stay tuned to iava.org/blog for more information.