VA releases shutdown field guide to services

The Department of Veterans Affairs has released a field guide to let veterans know what services will and won’t be impacted during current federal government shutdown.

The guide, which can be viewed here, also includes a list of still-active contact phone numbers for VA services, as well as a listing of suspended phone lines. VA call centers and hotlines will cease to function during the shutdown.

All VA medical facilities will remain fully operational, as will military sexual trauma counseling, VET Centers, insurance processing and home loan processing.

Claims processing and payments in the compensation, pension, education and vocational rehabilitation programs are anticipated to continue through late October. However, in the event of a prolonged shutdown, claims processing and payments in these programs would be suspended when available funding is exhausted.

Some programs immediately impacted by the shutdown:

• VBA will not be able to continue overtime for claims processors

• VBA Regional Offices public contact services will not be available

• No decisions on claims appeals or motions will be issued by the Board of Veterans Appeals

• Freedom of Information Act queries will not be processed

• Privacy Act requests will not be processed

• VA’s website will be updated intermittently

• Recruiting and hiring of veteran job applicants will cease with the exception of the Veterans Health Administration

• Interments at national cemeteries will be conducted on a reduced schedule

• VA secretary correspondence with veterans and veterans service organizations suspended