Virginia veterans next to be hit hard by shutdown

RICHMOND, VA (WTVR) — Virginia veterans who rely on benefits are set to be the next group impacted by the government shutdown.

“If the shutdown continues into late October, November compensation payments to more than 3.8 million Veterans will halt,” Veterans Administration Secretary Eric Shinseki testified to Congress earlier this month.

That means that families like Norman and Phyllis Sims of Goochland County will be impacted. Norman retired in 1991 from the military after a career that began with fighting in Vietnam. He currently collects disability benefits from the VA.

“They are playing games while we are suffering,” Norman told CBS 6 political reporter Joe St. George.

“When the disability check doesn’t come in we don’t have any income to do anything,” Phyllis added.

While the Sims wait for a compromise from Washington, local and state leaders are doing the best they can to help.

Henrico opened a new Veterans Assistance Center off Nine Mile Road Monday.

Virginia Veterans Services Commissioner Paul Galanti told CBS 6 the potential impacts of the shutdown on Veterans will only worsen if the shutdown continues.

“Write down the names of everybody that’s made you mad and remember them the next time they vote,” Galanti said.

The VA has said that as of right now, November checks to veterans are not scheduled to be sent out.