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Government Shutdown - what can you do, and what's not available?

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How does a Government Shut Down Affect You?

During the Government Shutdown, many crucial services will be impacted. We will keep this page as up to date as possible with information on agencies and services that are open and closed. All of my offices remain open and staffed for the immediate future to help you with specific issues.

The government officially shut down at midnight Oct. 1. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers were furloughed, and some of the D.C.-based services tourists and locals alike rely on will be closed.

Here’s a list of what you likely can and can’t do during a government shutdown. We'll be adding to the list; if you know of something we've left off, email us and we’ll research it.

AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS
The FAA will keep the Air Traffic Control System open and safe

CONSULAR OFFICES
From the State Department: “Consular operations domestically and overseas will remain 100% operational as long as there are sufficient fees to support operations.”

COURTS

Federal courts will continue to operate normally for about 10 business days after the start of a shutdown. If the shutdown continues after such a point, the judiciary would have to begin furloughs of employees whose work is not considered essential. Cases would continue to be heard, however, in such a case.

The US supreme court is scheduled to begin its new term on October 7. In previous government shutdowns, it continued to operate as normal.

DC TOURS
Capitol, White House, and any other tours of facilities overseen by the federal government are on hiatus.

FEDERAL WORKERS:

 About 800,000 federal employees will see their paychecks jeopardized or delayed.

FLAG REQUESTS
Our office cannot process flag requests at this time.

GOVERNMENT CONTRACTORS
Many government contractors will not be paid during the shutdown. Any contractors working in a federal building, needing additional funding, or requiring federal worker assistance will likely be impacted.

GOVERNMENT WEBSITES
As federal departments and agencies will be shutdown, information available on their respective websites will not be the most current available. Individuals needing information are encouraged to call 1-800-FED-INFO (1-800-333-4636) where information specialists are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST to answer questions. This call center will be open despite the shutdown.

IMMIGRATION SERVICES
The E-verify program is closed during the shutdown. Businesses will not be able to check on the immigration status of potential employees.

IRS
Taxes are still due, but audit activities are suspended. Taxpayers also will not be able to get usual levels of assistance.

MORTGAGE LOANS 
Mortgage loans would be delayed because the Federal Housing Administration would close

MILITARY
Military members will be paid during the shutdown.

SBA
Small businesses seeking loans from the SBA would be put on hold.

SCIENCE

Nasa will furlough almost all of its employees, but it will continue to keep workers at Mission Control in Houston and elsewhere to support the International Space Station. The National Weather Service will keep forecasting weather and issuing warnings and the National Hurricane Center will continue to track storms.

SNAP AND WIC PROGRAMS
Federal funding for the Women, Infants, and Children program, which provides 9 million low-income women and children with food, in addition to nutrition training and health care referrals, is stopped. SNAP will continue into October.

SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICARE, MEDICAID, UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and unemployment insurance checks will continue to be mailed out for the immediate future. However, new applicants may have trouble filing claims, receiving replacement cards, or scheduling disability hearings.

SECURITY OPERATIONS AT AIPORTS, NUCLEAR FACILITIES, US BORDERS, MILITARY INSTALLATIONS
Essential security and monitoring personnel will continue to perform their duties, including law enforcement/security personnel, air traffic controllers etc. Additionally, personnel at the National Weather Service who perform essential services dealing with public safety such as warning forecasts for severe weather, fire weather services, ongoing flood monitoring etc., will be maintained.

STUDENT LOANS
For the immediate future, the Department of Education states, "there will be limited impact to the federal student aid application (FAFSA) process, to the delivery of federal student aid, or to the federal student loan repayment functions."  A longterm shutdown would likely impact loan payments. Additionally, any delay beyond a week will drastically impact school districts, colleges and universities, and vocational rehabilitation agencies that depend on the Department’s funds to support their services. The U.S. Department of Education will cease most operations.

TRAVEL / VISAS

Federal air traffic controllers will remain on the job and airport will continue to operate security checkpoints; delays are possible. Federal inspectors will continue enforcing safety rules.

The State Department will continue processing foreign applications for visas and US applications for passports, since fees are collected to finance those services. Delays, however are expected due to a shutdown. Embassies and consulates overseas will continue to provide services to American citizens.

U.S. POSTAL SERVICE
The Postal Service which is self funded will continue to operate. Mail will continue to be delivered.

VETERANS AND VA CLAIMS

Most services offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs will continue. Veterans will still be able to visit hospitals for inpatient care, mental health counseling, or get prescriptions filled at VA health clinics. Operators will still staff the crisis hotline and claims workers would still process payments to cover disability and pension benefits.

Those veterans appealing the denial of disability benefits to the Board of Veterans Appeals will have to wait longer for a decision because the board would not issue any decisions during a shutdown.

SNAP AND WIC PROGRAMS
Federal funding for the Women, Infants, and Children program, which provides 9 million low-income women and children with food, in addition to nutrition training and health care referrals, is stopped. SNAP will continue into October.

SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICARE, MEDICAID, UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and unemployment insurance checks will continue to be mailed out for the immediate future. However, new applicants may have trouble filing claims, receiving replacement cards, or scheduling disability hearings.

STUDENT LOANS
For the immediate future, the Department of Education states, "there will be limited impact to the federal student aid application (FAFSA) process, to the delivery of federal student aid, or to the federal student loan repayment functions."  A longterm shutdown would likely impact loan payments. Additionally, any delay beyond a week will drastically impact school districts, colleges and universities, and vocational rehabilitation agencies that depend on the Department’s funds to support their services. The U.S. Department of Education will cease most operations.

U.S. POSTAL SERVICE
Mail will continue to be delivered.

VETERANS AND VA CLAIMS
While VA medical facilities will remain open, there will be severely limited processing for disability claims, and vocational and education benefits. Military honors for funerals are not currently available.

How long will the government shutdown last?
Until there is a budget solution passed by Congress and signed by the President. For perspective, the last federal government shutdowns were in 1995 & 1996 during the Clinton Administration. At that time, there were two separate shutdowns: 5 days (from November 14 through November 19, 1995) and 21 days (from December 16, 1995, to January 6, 1996).

 

Also see :

For detailed information about specific activities at Federal agencies, please see federal government contingency plans.

More details on what VA services would be affected are available here.
http://www.va.gov/opa/docs/Field_Guide_20130927.pdf

Department of Labor Shutdown Information http://www.dol.gov/dol/shutdown.htm

eeoc shutdown contingency plan in the event of lapsed appropriations  http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/shutdown_plan.cfm

Department of Labor Shutdown Information http://www.dol.gov/dol/shutdown.htm

Federal Government Shutdown - Social Security www.ssa.gov/shutdown/employees.html

What a government shutdown means for you  http://bera.house.gov/services/what-a-government-shutdown-means-for-you#what

 

 

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HCX Facts

US investment in the Netherlands from 2000 to 2010 was nine times more than US investment in China during the same period. US investment in the UK was more than seven times more, and in Ireland nearly three times more, than in China. (Source: Transatlantic Economy 2011

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