Will A New Government Shutdown Affect VA Disability Payments?
As another potential government shutdown may happen as soon as October 1st, veterans nationwide worry about their benefits being paused. Any disruption to these because of a shutdown could have significant repercussions. But are you actually in danger of losing them? Understanding how and why these services might be affected will help you prepare for any potential changes.
Is Another Shutdown Possible?
While nothing’s certain, the possibility of another government shutdown has become increasingly likely. Currently, there’s in-fighting between Congress over extended funding for federal agencies. The disputes are related to various provisions within the bill, leading to disagreements and a failure to reach consensus among the two parties. Without an agreement on this or other appropriations bills to fund federal agencies, a government shutdown will start at midnight on September 30.
Will Your VA Disability Benefits Be Affected?
As a veteran with disabilities, you can find some relief knowing that VA disability benefits, including pensions, education, and housing assistance, won’t be directly impacted in case of a shutdown. These services will keep functioning because of the different funding the VA receives from Congress each year. Because of this provision, partisan budget disagreements won’t impact most veteran services.
Will Medical Services Remain Open During A Shutdown?
As VA Secretary Denis Mcdonough stated in a recent press release, the VA office is “working very diligently in preparation for a lapse in funding.”
Medical services, VA cemetery burials, education, and other essential veteran services would continue uninterrupted. This provision is crucial for maintaining the well-being of vulnerable veterans who rely on benefits to get by. However, the shutdown may affect other VA services like career counseling and transition support. Certain regional offices would also close and maintenance of national cemeteries might experience delays due to maintenance workers being furloughed during the shutdown.
How Long Would This Shutdown Last For?
If the shutdown goes through, how long it lasts would depend on how fast lawmakers can resolve their disagreements and pass an appropriations bill. For instance, the longest shutdown in history lasted 36 days from December 2018 to January 2019. Essential personnel had to work without pay, relying on grants, charities, and food drives to survive. However, only time will tell if a possible shutdown will happen this time and how long it will take for lawmakers to find a solution.
Our Disability Lawyers Are Here To Help
In these uncertain times, staying informed and preparing for anything is best. Veterans concerned about a potential shutdown that might affect their benefits should seek professional advice to understand their rights fully. Our experienced New York veterans’ disability attorneys are ready to assist you in safeguarding your rights and entitlements. If you have questions about your VA disability benefits or want to schedule a free consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact us online or at 855-367-0135 today.