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FAQs On Federal Agencies During a Government Shutdown

***While my offices will remain available to assist, responses from most agencies will be delayed until the federal government reopens***

U.S. Postal Service (USPS)

USPS is not affected by a government shutdown. USPS is an independent entity that is funded through the sale of its products and services, and not by tax dollars. 

Social Security Administration (SSA)

Services that will continue:

  • Recipients benefits
  • Application for benefits
  • Request for appeals
  • Reconsiderations

Services that will be suspended:

  • Verification of benefits
  • Replacement Medicare cards
  • Overpayments processing

However, about 15% of the SSA’s staff would be furloughed, which could mean the delay or suspension of benefit verifications, replacement of Medicare cards, and determinations on disability claims.

Department of Agriculture (USDA)

USDA has reported enough resources to administer Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for one month following a September 30 shutdown. (Benefits will be safe for October.) If the shutdown lasts into November or beyond, those benefits will be impacted

Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program will be suspended once appropriated funding is depleted.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicare Program will continue during a lapse in appropriations.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Offices may be closed across the country. No staff will be available to assist during the shutdown. During previous shutdowns, the IRS stopped audits and Taxpayer Assistance Programs.

U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS)

Fee-funded agency, operation will continue.

Department of State

All U.S. embassies and consulates abroad will be operational for national security reasons.

Operations domestically and abroad will remain 100% operational as long as there are sufficient fees to support operations, delays may occur. This includes passports, visas, and assisting U.S. citizens abroad.

Department of Veterans Affairs

Services that will continue:

  • All functions within the Veterans Health Administration will continue.
  • Benefit Functions, such as education, benefits claims, insurance processing, loan guaranty programs, and Veteran Readiness & Employment payment processing will continue.
  • Board of Veterans’ Appeals (the Board, BVA) will continue to render appellate decisions on Veterans’ benefits cases and hold hearings to consider arguments and evidence related to those cases.

Services that will be suspended

  • Education Call Center or GI Bill Hotline will not be operational.
  • Veteran Readiness & Employment Services will be suspended.

Department of Defense

  • Military personnel on active duty, including reserve component personnel on Federal active duty, will continue to report for duty and carry out assigned duties. All military personnel will not be paid until new funds are appropriated.
  • Civilian personnel, including military technicians, who are not necessary to carry out or support excepted activities, are to be furloughed with a lapse in appropriations.

Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD)

  • Monthly subsidy programs such as the public housing operating subsidies, housing choice voucher subsidies, and multifamily assistance contracts can be at risk of running out of funding during a lapse period.
  • Nearly all of HUD’s fair housing activities will cease during a lapse.

Small Business Administration (SBA)

Services that will continue:

  • Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, SCORE and Veteran Business Outreach Centers continue to provide training and counseling services to small businesses.

Services that will be suspended:

  • No new SBA loans will be issued during a government shutdown.

Federal Housing Administration (FHA)

  • During a government shutdown, most HUD/FHA staff will not be available to respond to case-specific questions. However, the FHA Resource Center will remain operational, staffed by contractors who are equipped to receive and respond to general questions. When the Resource Center receives questions that cannot be answered by contract staff, such answers may be delayed until the government reopens.

Department of Education

Services that will continue:

  • Pell Grants and Federal Direct Loans will make obligations and payments during a shutdown.
  • During a shutdown, payments are any student loans should be paid on time.

Services that will be suspended:

Office for Civil Rights will pause its review and investigations.

National Parks Service (NPS)

All sites will be closed.

Federal Emergency Assistance Agency (FEMA)

Disaster payments will cease.

Office of Personnel Management (OPM)

Human Resources Solutions, Healthcare and Insurance, Retirement Services, and the Suitability Executive Agent Program will continue to operate.