What Can You Expect from the Veterans Administration in a Shutdown?
With shutdown looming, many military families are asking about what they can expect from the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Veterans Administration (VA). While we don’t yet have guidance from DoD, here’s what we know from VA.
The good news is that most VA operations will continue without interruption if there is a shutdown. That’s because health care through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and mandatory benefit payments to veterans are funded through an advance appropriation. Still other programs will be “excepted” from the shutdown and will continue to operate. Here’s what we know:
VA Health Care
Reserve, Guard, and veterans can expect their healthcare to be delivered like normal. That means mental health, flu shots, sleep studies… whatever you’re using the VA for in terms of healthcare should still be operating. That includes marriage counseling.
VA Disability + Pension Claims
The Board of Veterans’ Appeals will continue to render appellate decisions on Veterans’ benefits cases and hold hearings to consider arguments and evidence related to those cases. Compensation and Pension Claims processing and payment will continue to operate like normal.
The PACT Act Contact Center will also continue to operate.
Post 9/11 GI Bill + Education
GI Bill claims and payments – including BAH – will operate like normal. The Education Call Center and the GI Bill Hotline will not operate during a shutdown, though.
VA Home Loan
Good news here – VA loan guarantee programs will continue to operate like normal, and that includes your VA Home Loan.
VA Resources That Would Not Continue
In a shutdown, the VA would not be able to conduct its normal outreach to veterans, and their public-facing regional offices would be closed. Additionally, many regular operations – such as career counseling, transition assistance, and cemetery grounds maintenance – would not be available. The Education Call Center (the GI Bill Hotline: 888-GIBILL-1 or 888-442-4551) will also not operate during a shutdown.
There are some other VA benefits you can continue to count on. Among them: insurance processing, Veteran Readiness and Employment Payment Processing, VBA National Call Centers (except those education)
What other questions do you have about the looming shutdown? Let us know. We’re here to help.