By Debbie Gregory.
On September 27th, the VA issued a “Veteran’s Field Guide” for Vets receiving benefits through the government shutdown. In that first version of the field guide, it stated that compensation and pension claims processing and payments would not be affected by a shutdown. But in a revision made October 1st, the VA’s statement now says that claims processing and payments in the compensation, pension, education, and vocational rehabilitation programs are anticipated to continue through late October. However, in the event of a prolonged shutdown, claims processing and payments in these programs will be suspended when funds are exhausted. Experts speculate that those funds will be exhausted in two to three weeks. All Veterans looking to make pension & compensation claims with the VA are recommended to do so as soon as possible.
Other VA programs that will be affected by the government shutdown include:
Veteran’s Field Guide (VBA) Regional Offices- public contact services will not be available
No decisions on claims appeals or motions will be issued by the Board of Veterans Appeals
Freedom of Information Act queries will not be processed
Privacy Act requests will not be processed
VA’s homepage (www.va.gov) will be updated intermittently
VA’s main and hospital Social Media websites will be updated intermittently (Facebook, Twitter, Blog, etc.)
Recruiting and hiring of Veteran job applicants will cease, with the exception of the Veterans Health Administration
Presidential Memorial certificates will not be processed
Interments at National Cemeteries will be conducted on a reduced schedule
Overseas Military coordinator operations will be suspended
VA Secretary correspondence with Veterans and VSOs suspended
Outreach and Public Awareness Activities
VetSuccess on Campus suspended
Vocational Rehabilitation and Education Counseling will be limited, and VBA will not be able to continue overtime for claims processors
Claims processing and payments in the compensation, pension, education, and vocational rehabilitation programs are anticipated to continue through late October. However, in the event of a prolonged shutdown, claims processing and payments in these programs would be suspended when available funding is exhausted.
We at MilitaryConection.com understand how frustrating this situation is for Veterans and their families. We will continue to update our Vets on changes as they come