VAA Dispatch
Oct. 8, 2013

Time for Congress to put veterans funding 1st
The Hill
Whether the government shutdown is long or short, Washington's continuing failure to resolve budget disputes disrupts processing and delivery of vital benefits to our nation's veterans. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, a prolonged government shutdown will close many VA offices to veterans seeking benefits, delay even further the hundreds of thousands of veterans' claims still awaiting decisions and soon result in halting disability compensation payments to 3.8 million veterans, their dependents and survivors, many of whom have no other sources of support. This is outrageous and unacceptable; worse it was predictable and preventable.More

Job-training program aids veterans, unemployed
Twin Cities Business
Twin Cities Business reported in August on a new job-training initiative called Platform to Employment — a new program geared toward helping veterans and unemployed individuals age 50 and older. Minneapolis is one of several U.S. cities currently offering this initiative, and already, 25 Twin Cities residents are in the midst of a five-week training program. More

Backlogs for veterans could grow under shutdown
Stateline via USA Today
Veterans, who already face a lengthy backlog in getting help, risk not getting their disability and pension benefits at all in November if the federal government shutdown lasts several weeks. The Department of Veterans Affairs said it has enough money to process veterans' claims for pensions, compensation, education and vocational rehabilitation programs through late October, but a prolonged shutdown would suspend those programs once the money runs out.More

Veterans, impatient over shutdown, demand protection for VA benefits
Stars and Stripes
Veterans groups, angry that they are being used as political pawns, are lashing out at lawmakers, telling them to find an end to the government shutdown and ensure that veterans benefits and services aren't disrupted.More

Absolutely everything you need to know about how the government shutdown will work
The Washington Post
A government shutdown started Oct. 1. The House and Senate couldn't agree on a bill to fund the government and time had ran out. So, it's shutdown time. Let's take a look at how this works.More

CEO: Vets are IT for tech jobs
Business 2 Community
Karen Ross, CEO of Sharp Decisions, keeps challenging the status quo. A female founder of a 20-year-old technology company, she now is convincing U.S. companies to utilize veterans.More

VA: Most employees to stay on, but shutdown would halt some services
Stars and Stripes
More than 95 percent of Veterans Affairs employees would not be furloughed if a government shutdown happens, but the move could still halt some key services for veterans.More

VA will cut off disability payments if shutdown lasts a month
Nextgov
If a government shutdown continues through the end of October, the Veterans Affairs Department said it will have to cut off disability and education benefits payments, which could cause financial devastation to veterans, according to the Veterans of Foreign Wars.More

Government shutdown stalls military education benefits
Inside Higher Ed
The Department of Defense has suspended a program that provides members of the military with money to attend college because of the federal government shutdown. Branches of the armed forces will not authorize tuition assistance for new classes during a government shutdown, a Pentagon official wrote in a recent blog. More

Government shutdown freezes key VA services
Military.com
While the Department of Veterans Affairs will not shut down all operations, a great many will be hit by the shutdown that started Oct. 1, VA officials said. "VA medical centers, clinics and other health services have advance appropriations for 2014 and will remain open," VA spokeswoman Victoria Dillon said recently.More

Sad reason homeless female veterans aren't seeking help from VA
Los Angeles Times via The Huffington Post
She once wore Army-issue green, then earned the rank of E-3 seaman in the U.S. Navy. But when Serwa Scorza left the uniform, insignia and base behind for civilian life, she fell out of step and lost her footing. By the time she moved to Los Angeles, Scorza's marriage had dissolved and she struggled to balance work, school and single motherhood. Homelessness came next.More