Tampa Veterans Disability Lawyer David W. Magann Comments On Shutdown
Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) November 27, 2013 - Though the recent government shutdown concerned veterans' rights advocates, the VA stated that it had plans to cover vet benefits at least until late October.
The government shutdown threatened to disrupt the flow of disability and education benefits, but the Veterans Affairs Department had other ideas. The Veterans Benefits Administration had the 19,000 processors slated to continue to handle claims of disability and education even during the shutdown. VA spokeswoman Victoria Dillion announced that the VA was excepting the VBA claims processors from any furloughs in order to keep claims processing moving and to ensure that beneficiaries would continue to receive regular payments.
"Still, with the funding slated to run out by late October, the VA would only have been running smoothly until that point," said Tampa veterans disability lawyer David W. Magann. "The concerns that veterans and their loved ones had about ongoing support was warranted."
Amid the shutdown concerns, the VA maintained its main informational web page and also updated Twitter feeds and hospital Facebook statuses on an intermittent basis. The entire VA public affairs staff was furloughed during the shutdown, as was the education benefits hotline. Additionally, vets in educational programs were unable to meet with their on-campus counselors, but disability call centers were still operating in some capacity. Veteran internments were still being performed at a "modified rate," according to officials.
The Veterans Health Administration operates more than 800 clinics, 152 hospitals and 300 different veteran centers. All stayed open during the shutdown, and the 250,000 employees were working and receiving pay.
The shutdown was not likely to have any significant effect on most of the vets who receive GI Bill benefits short-term. But with the latest vote only covering the current debt issues until January 2014, veterans may well be looking at their coverage issues again soon.
"Literally millions of vets depend on services funded while the U.S. government functions smoothly," stated Magann. "We need to ensure that those services continue, regardless of partisan issues."
David W. Magann, P.A.
156 W. Robertson St.
Brandon, FL 33511
Call: (813) 657-9175
4012 Gunn Highway #165
Tampa, Florida 33618
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