Shutdown Would Kill off VA Claims Processing – but Medical Care Will Go On

While the large majority of Veterans Affairs employees, including clinical staff, will not be furloughed in the event of a government shutdown next week, about 20,000 VA workers do face the prospect of being laid off of work for a time. According to reporting from USA Today, some 20,000 VA employees stand to lose their jobs temporarily while Congress locks horns over a budget. These VA workers primarily work in claims processing and in Veterans Group Life Insurance.

VA Medical Centers, however, will still operate, as will the larger network of VA clinics and care centers, because funding for these operations has been preapproved in separate legislation.

While the federal government has not finalized a list of who is and who isn’t an essential employee. But the last time there was a government shutdown, the VA stated that 97 percent of its employees were exempt from furloughs.

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