In our previous posts we wrote about the impact the government shutdown is having on individuals who receive disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. Though those individuals should continue to receive those benefits as usual, the same may not be said of our nation’s veterans.
While much has been made in the news regarding veteran’s inability to access our nation’s national monuments, the effect of the shutdown on these individuals could be much more serious. Should the shutdown continue, veterans living in Peachtree City could find that they are missing out on pension pay and disability payments.
According to the Veterans Affairs Secretary, if things continue on the current path, approximately 3.8 million veterans who receive disability compensation may not receive those benefits in the month of November. In addition, pension payments to veterans, their surviving spouses as well as dependents, will not receive pension payments. Around 315,000 people are expected to be impact by that stoppage. To address the issue the House recently passed legislation that would keep those payments coming should the shutdown continue.
Of course this is not the only way in which veterans are being impacted by the shutdown. Those who take advantage of services provided to veterans are out of luck. For example, new vouchers are not being issued to veterans who are homeless. In addition, much of the program designed to provide counseling and employment assistance has been closed. Individuals who have submitted a disability claim will find that the response time is much longer as well.
While veterans currently relying upon these benefits face potential difficulties in the upcoming months, those who are in a position to apply for such benefits should not wait. Because of the backlog that is likely continuing to accrue as the shutdown drags on, the sooner one gets his or her application in, the sooner benefits will be available.
Source: CBS News, “Shutdown threatens $6B in vets’ disability, pension pay,” Associated Press, Oct. 9, 2013