Veterans Benefits Impacted by Gov’t. Shutdown

capitol shutdown

The U.S. Government officially shut down at midnight Oct. 1.  Hundreds of thousands of federal workers were furloughed.  Some services to veterans will be unaffected however,
other VA services will not be available to veterans and their families.

This VA webpage details what veterans can and cannot expect from the VA during this shutdown.

Services that won’t be affected by the Shutdown

• VA Hospitals should be running normally, or close to normal.  VA health care is protected. In 2009, Congress passed a law to fund the VA one year in advance.  This allows the VA health care to plan ahead and ensures that VA health care is funded for an additional year beyond the government shut down.

• All VA medical appointment and prescription drug phone lines will be active during the shutdown.

• 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 are exhausted.  ODVA will continue to monitor information from the Federal VA and will alert veterans of any laps in benefits.

• National Cemetery Administration (NCA) will process applications for headstones,
markers, and medallions; NCA will notify the Veteran Benefit Administration (VBA) of
death for benefit actions. Interments in National Cemeteries will continue, but may be on a
reduced schedule.  Contact NCA’s Scheduling Office at 800-535-1117 with questions.

• Insurance Processing, Home Loan Processing are not impacted.

• All VBA Call Centers, except for Education Call Centers, will continue to field inquiries.

• Prosthetics supply orders will continue to be processed.

• Office of Small and Disadvantaged Small Businesses will remain open.

• Veterans Crisis Line, Military Sexual Trauma Counseling, Readjustment Counseling Services  (Vet Centers)  will continue uninterrupted.

• My HealtheVet – All Services will continue.

Some suspended services

  • Call Centers and hotlines that are suspended include:
    • VBA Education (1-888-442-4551)
    • Inspector General Hotline (1-800-488-8244)
    • Consumer Affairs (202-461-7402)
  • Congressional Liaison Veterans queries are suspended
  • No  decisions on claims appeals or motions will be issued by the Board of Veterans Appeals
  • VBA will not be able to continue overtime for claims processors.
  • Recruiting and hiring of veterans job applicants will cease with the exception of the      Veterans Health Administration

To learn more about the Government Shutdown and the impact to veterans benefits,
please read the attached pdf below from the federal VA or visit Fed VA’s website or contact your local Oregon VSO with specific questions or concerns about your veteran benefits.