Eric Shinseki: $6B in Veterans Benefits At Risk if Shutdown Continues

Veterans Affairs Department logoVeterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki has warned that more than $6 billion in disability pay and survivor benefits will be affected if the shutdown continues past the end of the month, Federal News Radio reported Wednesday.

Kevin Freking writes that Shinseki told Congress in a written testimony that a protracted shutdown could leave 3.8 million veterans with unpaid disability claims.

“In some areas, like health care delivery, there are fewer adverse effects. In others, such as reducing the claims backlog, we have already seen a negative impact,” Shinseki wrote, according to The Associated Press.

He added the shutdown also hit veterans’ services at the Labor Department, Small Business Administration and Housing and Urban Development Department.

The average number of claims processed by VA on a daily basis decreased to 1,400 since the shutdown began, Freking reports.

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