If Shutdown Persists, VA Will Cut Off Claims Payments To Vets On Nov. 1

Bob Brewin | Nextgov | October 9, 2013

If the government shutdown persists until late October, the Veterans Affairs Department will cut off disability, pension, compensation and education claims to 5.18 million veterans, surviving spouses and children on Nov. 1, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki told a hearing of the House VA Committee Wednesday.

VA needs to pay out $6.25 billion in claims on Nov. 1 but Shinseki said he has only $2 billion in accounts to cover those payments.

The Veterans Benefits Administration on Tuesday furloughed 7,000 personnel who process claims. VBA was able to keep 13,000 employees on the job because their salaries were covered by $40 million in carryover funds from 2013. Shinseki said those funds will run out before the end of the month, at which point all but 1,500 VBA employees will be furloughed.