Thousands of Veterans Benefits Administration workers were furloughed Tuesday, including as many as 40 in Maine.
As day 8 of the partial government shutdown comes to a close, Maine veterans are left unsure how the federal impasse could effect them.
“I sure am, I sure am concerned. We’re just keeping our fingers crossed right now, that’s all we can do,” said Veteran Richard St. Louas.
St. Louas spent 9 years in the Air Force and Tuesday, he got help with his benefits claims from the Disabled American Veterans Mobile Service Office.
“There are people that we have that have, you know, that’s their only source of income and if that’s cut out, then how are they going to do things?” said Jame Laverdiere, DAV National Service Officer.
The DAV is privately funded and helps veterans fill out claims forms and register for benefits at no cost.
“After all that time, that they still care about people who served the men and women who served our country,” said John Pillsbury, a son of a vet at the Mobile Service Office.
According to the VA’s website, the shutdown won’t close any VA medical facilities, but VBA regional offices, including the one in Togus, are closed. The VA also says the longer the shutdown goes, the more likely claims processing will slow.
“We’re still getting it every month so far, so what happens down the road we don’t know.”
For a detailed list of which veterans services are continuing and which are not, visit www.va.gov.