If the federal shutdown is not resolved by the end of the month, wounded veterans might not receive their benefits come Nov. 1, according to NBC News. These benefits include compensation checks rewarded to more than 5 million former servicemembers, many of whom were wounded in combat.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki told the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, a congressional oversight committee, during a hearing Oct. 9 that the compensation checks were in danger, the news source reported. Shinseki added that the ongoing shutdown might jeopardize more than 400,000 disabled veterans and roughly 360,000 surviving military spouses and their children, leaving them without the payments they need to live. The 500,000 veterans going to college on the G.I. Bill will also have their tuition assistance frozen.
"I don't want to be alarmist, but I want to speak for the veterans who are looking in on this [hearing]," Shinseki said during his testimony. "Not only do we have a large number of beneficiaries that are looking for those checks, I have veterans myself that I employ – a third, over 100,000 veterans. A number of them are going to be subject to furlough."
However, Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., question the VA's handling of the federal shutdown during the hearing, citing the spending of $1 million on TV ads to promote the agency and several discrepancies in the VA's announcements of its proposed contingency plans, according to the news outlet.