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Rep. Takano Keeps Offices Open, Functioning; Issues Shutdown Guidelines

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Rep. Mark Takano issued guidelines for constituents on how government services will be affected and announced that his DC and Riverside office will remain open throughout the shutdown.

Residents are encouraged to visit the information on Takano’s website. There, residents will learn about the effects of a temporary government shutdown. The page will also be updated as new information becomes available and agencies update their contingency plans.

Residents not able to find assistance within the shutdown guidelines can visit or call the Riverside district office for any federal government problems.

Office of Congressman Mark Takano – Riverside District Office
3403 10th Street
Suite 610
Riverside, CA 92501
Phone: (951) 222-0203

Guidelines Text Below:

What does a government shutdown mean for you?

Please know that I will work to restore funding for the federal government, so that the residents of California’s 41st Congressional District will continue to receive the benefits and services they are owed. In addition, my offices in Riverside and Washington, DC, will remain open during regular business hours, continuing to provide the best service possible to my constituents.

Below, you can find information about the effects of a temporary government shutdown. I will update this page as new information becomes available. Please keep in mind that information may change as agencies adapt to operations under a lapse of funding.

Social Security The Social Security Administration will continue to distribute Social Security benefits to seniors and people with disabilities. However, a lapse in funding could result in delays in processing new claims and Social Security cards, change of address requests, and other customer service requests.

Medicare

Medicare claims are paid from Medicare trust funds, and will continue to be processed during a shutdown. However, the lapse in funding will stop the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from processing new Medicare enrollees.

Veterans Benefits

The processing and payment of veterans’ education and health benefits, disability compensation, and pension claims, will not be affected. All VA medical facilities and clinics will remain open and operational. However, VA call centers and hotlines – excluding the Veterans Crisis Line – will cease function, no decisions on claims appeals will be issued, and VetSuccess on Campus will be suspended.

Unemployment Benefits

Federal unemployment benefits will continue to be dispersed to the California Employment Development Department (EDD). Unemployed workers will continue to receive benefits, and people who have exhausted their current benefit tier will progress to the next tier. For more information, please contact the EDD at http://www.edd.ca.gov/.

United States Postal Service

U.S. Postal Service will continue to operate during a government shutdown, because the Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. All retail offices will remain open and delivery will not be affected. The Postal Service will continue to accept passport applications, although there may be a delay in processing them from the State Department. For more information about the Postal Service, you may want to visit http://www.usps.com/.

Military Pay

The House and Senate passed a bill that would pay members of the Armed Forces, including reserve components, in the event of a government shutdown. Civilian employees and contractors may also receive pay if they are deemed by the Secretary to be providing support to members of the Armed Forces.

Federal Employees and Retirees

Under a government shutdown all non-essential federal employees are placed on unpaid leave, also known as a furlough. However, essential employees that perform emergency work involving the safety of human life, the protection of property, or other exempted work, must continue to report to their job. Essential employees will not be paid unless Congress appropriates money for back pay after government funding is restored.

Each federal agency will determine which employees will be furloughed, and which must continue to report to work. Furloughs are expected to impact the services that agencies provide to the public. For more details please visit the Office of Personnel Management’s website at http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/furlough-guidance/.

Federal retirees who receive benefits through the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) or the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) will continue to get their checks. However, the Office of Personnel Management will stop processing paperwork for new retirees.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF) is funded through September 30, 2013. With a lapse in federal funding, TANF recipients could see a disruption in benefits. However, states may be able to use state funds, emergency contingency funds, or leftover TANF funding from previous years to help continue TANF benefits during a shutdown. The State of California will be issuing further guidance for TANF recipients in the state. For more information visit, please visit http://www.cdss.ca.gov/calworks/.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Women, Infants and Children Nutrition Program

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) receives mandatory funding from the U.S. Department of Treasury on a quarterly basis. Therefore, beneficiaries will continue to receive SNAP funds as usual.

Federal funding for the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program will stop on October 1, 2013. However, Acting WIC Director Lisa Kawano “anticipates that there will be no interruptions to the CA WIC program in the near future.” State WIC programs, including California, can use vendor fines and infant formula rebate accounts, as well as NSA spend-forward, unspent food and federal contingency funds, to keep the program operating for at least a week or even two weeks, by which time a new CR is very likely to pass.

Passports and Visas

The Postal Service will continue to accept passport applications, and the State Department will continue to process passport applications visa requests as long as funding allows. This could result in delayed processing times and create a backlog that lasts even after funding is restored.

Museums and Parks

All areas of the National Park Service and National Wildlife Refuge Systems will be closed to the public. This includes federal lands in California, Washington, DC, and across the country. Additionally, the Smithsonian Institution and National Gallery of Art will be closed to the public. The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will remain open for scheduled performances, but may suspend tours of the building.

If you have tours scheduled through my office in Washington, DC, please contact my Tour Coordinator, Elliot Sakach, at (202) 225-2305 for more information.

Additional Resources

For additional guidance from the federal government please visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/contingency-plans for a full list of contingency plans from all federal agencies. If you need further assistance please call my Washington, DC, Office at (202) 225-2305 or my Riverside Office at (951) 222-0203.

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