AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The government shutdown is now affecting the Veterans Benefits Administration. According to Congressman Mike Michaud's office, 30-40 employees of the Togus VA's Regional Office were furloughed Tuesday.
The office is closed. A statement from the regional office says that the VA's medical centers and health services are funded through 2014 and will continue to operate. But claims processing and payments in the compensation, pension, education and vocational rehabilitation programs will be suspended at the end of the month if the shutdown continues. It says, in part: "VA strongly believes that a lapse in appropriations should not have occurred and Congress should act to fund critical Government operations..."
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree's office said 9,800 workers with the Department of Veterans Affairs had been sent home nationwide.
Congressman Michaud said the House Veterans' Affairs Committee will be holding a hearing Wednesday morning on the impact of the shutdown on VA benefits and services.