|Government Shutdown FAQ|
The following is a list of frequently asked questions on how a government shutdown could impact you and your family.
What is a government shutdown?
A government shutdown occurs when Congress cannot agree on a budget. If a shutdown occurs, the government stops all "non-essential" services, while essential services, such as the armed forces, border protection, air traffic controllers, and police and fire departments will continue to operate.
What Services Will Be Stopped?
The government will close all "non-essential" services which includes, but is not limited to national parks, museums and monuments. The shutdown will prevent the IRS from issuing refund checks, freeze federal environmental clean-up projects, stall new applicants for Social Security, Medicare and visa applications, and halt small business and housing loans through the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
Federal employees that are furloughed will not receive pay. Additionally, federal contractors will not be paid during this time and will not be eligible for back pay.
What Services Will Continue?
Services that are deemed essential for the safety of human life and the protection of property will be continued. This includes the armed forces, border patrol, police, and fire fighting. The Postal Service and the Federal Reserve, which are both self-funded, will also continue to operate.
Will I Still Get My Social Security Benefits?
The Social Security Administration has the authority to continue mailing checks. Though checks will continue to be mailed, a number of Social Security employees will be furloughed, which means new Social Security claims may not be processed.
Am I Still Going to Get My Tax Refund?
Unlike the shutdowns of the 1990's, this shutdown would take place during the tax preparation and filing season, which may result in delayed tax refunds to many Americans.
The IRS would process electronically filed returns and collect payments but paper-filed returns will not be processed, and refunds will be held until furloughed employees return.
Will Veterans Benefits Continue?
While VA hospitals will remain open, during the last government shutdown, many veterans' benefits were cut or reduced.
Will Unemployment Benefits Be Affected?
Depending on the length of the shutdown, the federal funds that help states pay the costs of their unemployment programs could run out, which would require States to step in and advance the money to keep their programs running. Otherwise, benefits would be reduced or stopped. Please check the California Employment Department website for updates.
Will Rep. Eshoo's office be open?
Yes, my office will be open and my staff, who will not be paid during a shutdown, will continue to do everything they can to address problems constituents encounter with a federal agency, answer questions about legislative matters, and deal to the best of our ability with any emergencies.
|Thomas Bill Search|