The federal government shutdown is starting to affect military veterans in Central Florida.
The Department of Veterans Affairs put new furloughs into effect Tuesday, impacting thousands of government workers across America. However, the VA Health clinic next to Baldwin Park in Orlando is still completely open, and doctors are treating veterans for medical conditions. That facility is fully funded and not affected by the shutdown.
The VA Benefits Center is located in Downtown Orlando at 1000 Legions Place. Officials at the VA Health Clinic tell us the benefits center is closed Tuesday due to government furloughs.
FOX 35 stopped by the benefits center Thursday afternoon. Two security guards outside the fifteenth floor office tell us the office was closed all day due to government furloughs and that the office will be closed Wednesday. They say as of now, veterans cannot walk into the office to get assistance with benefits issues and questions.
We talked to veterans at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2093 in Orange County. They expressed a lot of frustration with government leaders in Washington DC not resolving the Federal Government shutdown.
VFW member Wilbur Smith, says it's a shame that veterans are being affected by the furlough now. He says, "These are the people who served our country and they need those benefits. There are many cases where that office is the only place they can go to get the answers they need."
Smith says it is time for our government leaders in Washington to end the Federal shutdown.
He says, "Our government leaders need to sit down and get the government working again."
If you are a veteran and would like to learn more about how the shutdown may affect you, click here.