Furloughs close Atlanta VA benefits office - CBS46 News

Furloughs close Atlanta VA benefits office

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Atlanta VA benefits center among those closed because of furloughs Atlanta VA benefits center among those closed because of furloughs

With approximately 7,000 employees who work for the Veterans Benefits Administration furloughed on Tuesday, regional offices across the country, including here in Atlanta, are closed.

A sign outside the office on Clairmont Road told veterans that they will have to get help on the internet or via mail during the shutdown.

"I'm disappointed but there's fault on all sides, including the president," said Robert Jones, a World War II veteran.  "He has not led like he should." 

While regional offices are closed, veterans are still receiving benefits. However, there are fears if the government shutdown continues, those benefits will run out by the end of the month.

"I try not to think about that because at my age, I'm disabled so I can't get a job," said Vietnam veteran Maurice Milner. "So if I lose mine, what's next? Homeless."

Jan Northstar, Atlanta's regional director, said that the shutdown will slow the processing of a massive backlog of disability claims. Employees had been working overtime to catch up on hundreds of thousands of claims that have been filed.

Many veterans and their families are also concerned that Social Security will also be cut because of the government shutdown.

"I would just have to lay my bills down," said Teresa Philyaw, wife of a Vietnam veteran. "I would suffer for that. We couldn't pay our bills. There's just no way."

Northstar told CBS Atlanta the best way to keep up on the furloughs and their effects is to go to the VA's website. A link to the site can be found at CBS Atlanta.com under Weblinks.

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