There are a lot of questions and rumors and reports circulating the internet about the situation which might result in the event of a Government shutdown. So far Congress has been unable to come to a compromise over the federal budget and other issues. While they were prompted to reach a conclusion by deadline dates, some of these have been reached and pushed back. The latest was in early March, and was pushed back to April 8th.
The military and veteran community has been told different stories about what will happen to their pay and benefits. The best we have to go on is the last government shut down, in 1995, which only lasted twenty-one days.
During this shut down, it was decided that the payments going to veterans or their dependents are the rightful property of the recipients. This presumably applies to all VA benefits payments, disibility, pension, and educational. Additionally in this 1995 shutdown about 70% of VA employees stayed on the job, so many VA services are likely to continue.
There is speculation that military paychecks and commissary operation will be held until after the shutdown has been resolved. A draft current as of March 21 says that “all military personnel will continue in normal duty status regardless of their affiliation with exempt or non exempt activities. Military personnel will serve without pay until such time as Congress makes appropriated funds available to compensate them for this period of service. “
Keep in mind that this is only a draft plan.
Should military members encounter financial difficulties if a shutdown happens, they can turn to service specific relief agencies and not run the risk of a private loan agency taking advantage of their situation.
Sailors and Marines can contact the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society
Soldiers can contact Army Emergency Relief
Airmen can go to the Air Force Aid Society
Coast Guardsmen can go to the Coast Guard Mutual Assistance
Photo thanks to Kevin H. under creative common license on Flickr.