Now that the government shutdown is a reality, what does that mean for our military and veterans?
Here’s the rundown:
- Pay Our Military Act, signed into law recently, guarantees military pay for five of the Uniformed Services. This act will ensure pay and allowances to the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard. Also activated and mobilized National Guard and Reserve members will be paid. National Guard and Reserve drills are being cancelled, and they will not be paid for those drills.
- For military healthcare, TRICARE has issued a statement. If you normally get your health care in a military hospital or military clinic, there might be reduced hours or reduced services. Call for further information before traveling to a military hospital or clinic.
- Commissaries will close in the US but remain open overseas.
- Military OneSource will remain open and available by web and phone (800-342-9647).
- The VA is keeping claims processors on the job, but says it will run out of money for disability and pension checks around the end of October. (Harry Reid refused to hold a vote to fund the VA just yesterday.) November payments will likely not be issued. The VA had ordered mandatory overtime for claims processors, which was reducing the claim backlog. Now, there is no longer any overtime. The VA says if the shutdown is prolonged, it could increase the backlog of claims by tens of thousands.
- Also, the Board of Veteran Appeals is not able to hear veteran appeals, so thousands of appeals will be delayed.
- GI bill benefits for October have been sent out. As of now, the VA says it will not have the funds available for November payments.
To keep posted on the latest, the National Military Family Association is updating regularly on the changes to military benefits.
When a government that can’t pass a budget or leave within its means causes unnecessary strife and worries for our Military Families who sacrifice and serve our Nation’s greater good, something is epically wrong. Time for some real change in DC.
At *your* service,