Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Shinseki warns extended shutdowns will hurt vets

Oct. 9, 2013 - 05:14PM   |  
Eric Shinseki
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington during a House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing Wednesday on the effects of the government shutdown on benefits and services. About 3.8 million veterans will not receive disability compensation next month if the shutdown continues into late October, Shinseki told lawmakers, and some 315,000 vets and 202,000 surviving spouses and dependents will see pension payments stopped. (Evan Vucci / The Associated Press)
  • Filed Under

An extended government shutdown will take $6.2 billion out of the pockets of people depending on veterans benefits, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki warned Wednesday.

The VA will exhaust its funding for benefits in about two weeks, he said.

Testifying before the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Shinseki said estimated 3.8 million veterans, including 433,000 who are totally disabled, won’t be receiving disability compensation and 360,000 surviving spouses and children won’t be receive dependency and indemnity compensation if the government shutdown isn’t resolved by the end of October.

Additionally, he said 560,000 students won be received education benefits and 315,000 veterans and 200,000 surviving spouses won’t receive pensions for those with low incomes.

That is not the only harm, he said. While furloughs have already started, things will get worse. Claims processing already has slowed but an extended shutdown would result in the VA suspending all claims processing. “Nearly 5,600 veterans a day will not receive a decision on their disability claims,” he said.

His testimony comes on the ninth day of a partial government shutdown caused by the inability of Congress and the White House to agree on funding for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1.

The House of Representatives has passed a bill to provide temporary funding to protect veterans benefits from delays, but the Senate has not taken up the measure and the White House opposes it.

Shinseki said the so-called “piecemeal” funding “is not the best solution for our veterans or our nation.”

“Veterans depend on government services beyond just those provided by VA,” he said. For example, the Labor Department provides education counseling, vocational rehabilitation and job programs. The Small Business Administration has closed it business outreach centers and its services for veteran-owned businesses. The Housing and Urban Development Department has stopped issuing vouchers to aid homeless veterans.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In Pay & Benefits

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Army Times

This Week's Army Times

Your new NCOERs
Significant changes to report expected for Oct. 1, 2015

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook