Government Shutdown Information
Several constituents have inquired about which services will be impacted by the federal government shutdown. Below is a brief list, and you are welcome to contact my office at any time if you have additional questions. My staff and I are here to continue to serve you during this government shutdown:
Federal air traffic controllers remain on the job and airport screeners will continue working at security checkpoints.
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
U.S. Capitol, White House, and any other tours of facilities overseen by the federal government are on hiatus.
Our office cannot process flag requests at this time.
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.
The Food and Drug Administration is handling high-risk recalls, but has suspended most routine safety inspections. Federal meat inspections proceed as usual.
A small number of Head Start programs have felt the impact right away. The federal Administration for Children and Families (ACF) says grants expiring about Oct. 1 would not be renewed. Should there be a prolonged government shutdown, more programs would be affected.
New patients are not being accepted into clinical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), but current patients would continue to receive care. Medical research at the NIH is disrupted and some studies have been delayed.
Most of the Department of Homeland Security's employees are expected to stay on the job, including uniformed agents and officers at the country's borders and ports of entry, members of the Coast Guard, Transportation Security Administration officers, Secret Service personnel and other law enforcement agents and officers. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services employees continue to process green card applications.
Many low-to-moderate incomes borrowers and first-time homebuyers seeking government-backed mortgages face delays during the shutdown. The Federal Housing Administration, which guarantees about 30 percent of home mortgages, will not underwrite or approve any new loans during the shutdown.
The E-verify program is closed during the shutdown. Businesses will not be able to check on the immigration status of potential employees.
Taxes are still due, but audit activities are suspended. Taxpayers also will not be able to get usual levels of assistance.
Military members will be paid during the shutdown.
Every one of America’s national parks and monuments, from Yosemite to the Smithsonian to the Statue of Liberty, will be immediately closed.
As of right now, the State Department is expected to continue processing U.S. applications for passports, as fees are collected to finance those services.
According to the Department of Education, "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."
U.S. POSTAL SERVICE
Mail will continue to be delivered.
UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS FOR FURLOUGHED FEDERAL EMPLOYEES
Furloughed federal employees are eligible for unemployment benefits. Benefits are administered by State agencies. Please remember that unemployment benefits are distributed weekly, but you must be out of work for a pay period to prove loss of benefits. Also, you cannot receive both unemployment benefits and a federal salary. Please check the Massachusetts Department of Labor website for eligibility requirements and application procedures. The U.S. Department of Labor and OPM issued general guidance.
VETERANS AND VA CLAIMS
VA medical facilities will remain open, and veterans receiving compensation, pension, education, and vocational rehabilitation payment from the VA will continue to receive them. Claims processing with continue, though there may be some additional delay because the VA will not be able to continue overtime for claims processors. However, the VA has indicated that a prolonged shutdown may result in further delay and potential suspension of claims processing if available funding is exhausted. The VA is estimating that this may occur in late October. For additional information on the government shutdown’s impact on veterans, click HERE.
Federal occupational safety and health inspectors would stop workplace inspections except in cases of imminent danger.