SHUTDOWN: What's being impacted, and what's actually shutting down

SHUTDOWN: What's being impacted, and what's actually shutting down

tadams@ledger-enquirer.comOctober 1, 2013 

THE EFFECTS ON VETERANS SERVICES

In light of the government shutdown, here's what services will continue in full, what's being impacted, and what's actually shutting down:

Not impacted

• All VA medical facilities and clinics will remain fully operational, including inpatient care, outpatient care, prescriptions, surgeries, dental treatment, extended care, mental health care, nursing home care, special health care services for women veterans and vet centers.

• My HealtheVet -- all services.

• Readjustment counseling services (Vet Centers).

• Veterans Benefit Administration call centers will be operational except for education.

• 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.

• Veterans crisis line

• Military sexual trauma counseling.

• Insurance processing

• Home loan processing

• Office of Small and Disadvantaged Small Businesses

• Interments in national cemeteries will continue, but may be on a reduced schedule. Contact the National Cemetery Administration's scheduling office at 1-800-535-1117.

• The National Cemetery Administration will process applications for headstones, markers and medallions, and will notify Veterans Benefit Administration of death for benefit actions.

• Acquisitions Logistics Center will accept and fill prosthetics supply orders

Impacted

• Veterans Benefit Administration 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.

• 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.

• 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.

Suspended

VA call centers and hotlines and national phone numbers, including:

• VBA Education Call Center: 1-888-442-4551

• Inspector General Hotline: 1-800-488-8244

• Consumer Affairs: (consumeraffairs@va.gov; VA's home page "Contact Us" function and 202-461-7402)

• Congressional liaison veterans queries

• Education Benefits: 1-888-442-4551

• Consumer Affairs: 202-461-7402

• Inspector General Hotline: 1-800-488-8244

• Special Issues: Gulf War/Agent Orange/Project SHAD/Mustard Agents and Lewisite/Ionizing Radiation: 1-800-749-8387

• Status of headstones and markers: 1-800-697-6947

• Whistle-blower reprisal: 1-800-872-9855

Source: "Veterans Field Guide to Government Shutdown," U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Ledger-Enquirer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service