Government shutdown's impact on women, children and veterans - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Government shutdown's impact on women, children and veterans


The ripple effect the government shutdown will have on American citizens continues to spread as federal government employees are told to stay home from work.

The shutdown goes much deeper than delaying passports and hindering the housing market. Veterans and women and children who rely on government assistance will be impacted if the shutdown ends up lasting weeks or longer.

Heather Holland of Henderson is a mother of three. She's currently caring for a household of eight which consists of her children, her husband, her mother-in-law and two cousins.

On her mind Tuesday, is what the government shutdown means for five-month-old James.

"He has a lot of problems with digestion and acid reflux, so WIC covers his formula for me," Heather explains.

WIC, the nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children, provides James' special formula.

"It's pretty pricey," says Heather.

WIC also provides Heather's other children with healthy food like milk and eggs.

"I've called my WIC office and looked online and there's no guarantee that it'll last through...even the end of the month," she says.

East Texas veterans who rely on government assistance have a lot less to worry about.

"Fortunately for veterans, the VA receives advance appropriations so we're funded through fiscal year 14,"  explains Lehebron Farr, the Tyler Department of Veterans Affairs Operations Administrator.

That advance funding means doctor appointments and prescriptions are still paid for.

"Everything is business as usual over here at the North Texas VA Healthcare System at Tyler," says Farr.

While many daily resources will still be available to veterans, the Board of Veterans Appeals will stop issuing rulings, meaning decisions about disability claims filed by veterans could take longer than usual.

National parks, like Davy Crockett National Forest, are closed until the shutdown is over. No matter how you look at it, it's likely someone you know... being affected.

"It just doesn't seem fair that because congress and senate and the president can't come to an agreement, that our kids are going to suffer from it," says Heather.

There are some important things that we know will not be impacted by the shutdown. Those include government-funded school breakfasts and lunches, food stamps, which is also known as SNAP, which stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and meat inspections.

To find out more about what services the government shutdown is affecting, click here for a full list of what's open and what's closed.

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