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Government Shutdown Impacted Veterans Healthcare

November 11th, 2013 by WCBC Radio

Among those individuals most impacted by the recent federal government shutdown were veterans. Veterans were able to get inpatient care at hospitals and mental health counseling at vet centers and outpatient clinics because Congress approved funding for VA health care programs one year in advance. However, the VA says its efforts to reduce the backlog in disability benefit claims were stalled because claims processors were no longer being required to work 20 hours of overtime per month. Access to regional VA offices was suspended, making it harder for veterans to get information about their benefits and the status of their claims. If another shutdown occurs in January, the VA warns that compensation and pension payments to veterans could be halted. Andrew Keirns, acting communications director with AMVETS, tells WCBC News that it’s time for those holding elected office to stop using veterans as a political football…


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