Despite the government shutdown that began on October 1, President Obama signed into law legislation (H.R. 3210 â€“ P.L. 113-39) that funds pay for the military until January 1, 2015. During past government shutdowns, military personnel have continued to be paid because they were deemed â€śessential employees.â€ť This legislation clarifies that active duty personnel will continue to be paid.
According to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), military retirees and survivors will continue to be paid. The Defense Health Agency (DHA) indicated that TRICARE claims will be paid, but if beneficiaries are using a Military Treatment Facility (MTF) they may find that hours of operation have been reduced. Those TRICARE beneficiaries receiving care from civilian health care providers should not notice any interruption in service due to the shutdown.
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability benefits will continue to be paid at least through the end of October. Care for veterans receiving treatment at a VA hospital or clinic will continue because that portion of the budget is funded in advance for two-year periods. The Board of Veterans Appeals has stopped issuing decisions, however, and interments at national cemeteries will be conducted on a reduced schedule.
Stateside commissaries have been closed, and the decision to keep child care centers on military bases open is determined on a case-by-case basis by the base commander. Budgetary uncertainty has created significant anxietyÂ within every facet of the military community.