How the Government Shutdown Will Affect the Tri-State Area

From NBC:

The Statue of Liberty is closed under the federal government shutdown that began just after midnight, but mail is still being delivered and Social Security benefits are still being paid.

The shutdown began when Congress missed a deadline to pass a spending plan Monday.

Military personnel and other essential federal employees will go to work Tuesday without pay. Other workers are headed home for an indefinite furlough.

Here is a look at how services are being affected by a government shutdown:


Federal air traffic controllers remain on the job and airport screeners keep funneling passengers through security checkpoints. Federal inspectors continue enforcing safety rules.


The State Department continues processing foreign applications for visas and U.S. applications for passports, since fees are collected to finance those services. Embassies and consulates overseas continue to provide services to American citizens.


Social Security and Medicare benefits keep coming, but there could be delays in processing new disability applications. Unemployment benefits still go out.


Federal courts continue operating normally for about 10 business days after the start of a shutdown, roughly until the middle of October. If the shutdown continues, the judiciary would have to begin furloughs of employees whose work is not considered essential. But cases would continue to be heard.


Deliveries continue as usual because the U.S. Postal Service receives no tax dollars for day-to-day operations. It relies on income from stamps and other postal fees to keep running.


All national parks are closed, including the Statue of Liberty in New York. Ellis Island, another federally operated park, was closed prior to the shutdown for repairs after Sandy.


The Food and Drug Administration will handle high-risk recalls, but suspends most routine safety inspections. Federal meat inspections are expected to proceed as usual.


The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, known as WIC, could shut down. The program provides supplemental food, health care referrals and nutrition education for pregnant women, mothers and their children.

School lunches and breakfasts will continue to be served, and food stamps, known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, continue to be distributed. But several smaller feeding programs do not have the money to operate.


Americans still have to pay their taxes and file federal tax returns, but the Internal Revenue Service says it will suspend all audits. Got questions? Sorry, the IRS says taxpayer services, including toll-free help lines, will be shut as well.


Many low-to-moderate income borrowers and first-time homebuyers seeking government-backed mortgages could face delays during the shutdown. The Federal Housing Administration, which guarantees about 30 percent of home mortgages, won't underwrite or approve any new loans during the shutdown.


NASA will continue to keep workers at Mission Control in Houston and elsewhere to support the International Space station, where two Americans and four others are deployed. The National Weather Service will keep forecasting weather and issuing warnings and the National Hurricane Center continues to track storms. The scientific work of the U.S. Geological Survey may be halted.


The majority of the Department of Homeland Security's employees are expected to stay on the job, including uniformed agents and officers at the country's borders and ports of entry, members of the Coast Guard, Transportation Security Administration officers, Secret Service personnel and other law enforcement agents and officers. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services employees continue to process green card applications.


The military's 1.4 million active duty personnel stay on duty, but their paychecks could be delayed. About half of the Defense Department's civilian employees will be furloughed.


All 116 federal prisons would remain open, and criminal litigation would proceed.


Most services offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs will continue because lawmakers approve money one year in advance for the VA's health programs. Veterans are still be able to visit hospitals for inpatient care, get mental health counseling at vet centers or get prescriptions filled at VA health clinics.

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