Congressman Hakeem Jeffries

Representing the 8th District of New York

How The Government Shutdown Impacts You

A shutdown occurs when Congress fails to fund the government.  This particular manufactured crisis was created after the House GOP insisted on destroying, delaying or defunding the Affordable Care Act – legislation already enacted by Congress, signed by the President and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land and we will not yield to unreasonable demands designed to deprive millions of uninsured Americans health coverage.

During a government shutdown, the government stops all “non-essential” services, while services that impact health and safety, such as the armed forces, border protection, air traffic controllers, and police and fire departments continue to operate.  Our offices are open and my staff is available during the government shutdown to help serve anyone having difficulty throughout the community.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call my district offices: Central Brooklyn Office (718) 237 – 2211 or South Brooklyn Office (718) 373 – 0033.  

Below is a brief outline of what government services will be impacted during the shutdown: 

Social Security benefits will continue without interruption throughout the government shutdown, as will any services provided by the Social Security Agency (SSA) directly connected to the receipt of Social Security benefits, including appeals, change of address, and payee changes.  However, other services not directly related to benefits will be suspended during the shutdown, such as original or replacement Social Security or Medicare cards, benefit verifications, and earnings record corrections.  Social Security card centers are closed.

Medicare and Medicaid benefits and other mandatory spending programs will not be impacted.

  • Federal Workers

Approximately 800,000 federal employees have been furloughed and will see their paychecks jeopardized or delayed. 

Deliveries are scheduled to continue as usual because the U.S. Postal Service receives no tax dollars for day-to-day operations and relies on income from postal fees to maintain operations.

All national parks, all Federally funded museums, and federal wildlife refuges are closed for the duration of the shutdown.

The State Department will continue processing foreign applications for visas and domestic applications for passports as fees are collected to finance those services.  However, delays are expected due to the shutdown.  The State Department will also continue to provide critical services to Americans overseas.

  • Armed Forces

About 1.4 million active-duty personnel will stay on duty and receive their paychecks on-time.  Half of the Department of Defense’s civilian employees were furloughed.

The majority of the Department of Homeland Security's employees are expected to stay on the job, including uniformed agents and officers at our borders and ports of entry, members of the Coast Guard, Transportation Security Administration officers, Secret Service personnel and other law enforcement agents and officers.  U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services employees will continue to process green card applications.

Most services offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs will continue, but the effort to reduce the benefit application backlog will be adversely impacted.  Veterans will still be able to visit hospitals for inpatient care, mental health counseling, or get prescriptions filled at VA health clinics.  Call centers, hotlines, and regional offices that help veterans understand which benefits are closed to the public. Veterans who appeal the denial of disability benefits to the Board of Veterans Appeals may experience delays because the board is not expected to issue any decisions during a shutdown.

The Department of Housing and Urban Devlopment  cannot provide any additional funds to Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) for new vouchers. Most of the agencies should have enough funding to provide rental assistance through the month of October, but that is not guarenteed. 

SNAP and Children's Nutrition Programs (school lunch, school breakfasts, milk programs) will continue to make payments to recipients through October, but there are no plans beyond that timeframe. WIC will no longer make any payments, though states may use their contingency funds as long as they last.