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Veterans Affairs healthcare is protected during government shutdown

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The VA medical centers in Fayetteville and Durham will remain open during the government shutdown. The VA medical centers in Fayetteville and Durham will remain open during the government shutdown.
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -

The government shutdown is not affecting health care through veterans affairs. So veterans are not seeing any changes at the VA medical centers in Fayetteville and Durham, or at any clinics or counseling centers.

They all have a budget approved through next year.

In addition to hands-on care, everything behind-the-scenes like paperwork is also being handled.

"Any veteran does not have to be concerned about not having access to healthcare," said James Galkowski, the Fayetteville VA Medical Center Associate Director for Operations. "All of the people that both provide the direct care and support that care are deemed essential."

The shutdown may have a bigger effect on veterans benefits  though. Some benefits paperwork such as appeals will not be processed during the shutdown.

If the shutdown lasts until November, payments will not be made for pensions, education and other programs.

Veterans Affairs has released information on exactly what will not be affected by the shutdown, along with what services could be cut. That information is available here: http://www.va.gov/opa/appropriations_lapse_plan.asp A link to the "Field Guide" provides a basic breakdown of how the VA is currently operating.

Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon. More>>

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