Posted: Oct 12, 2013 8:12 PM
Updated: Oct 12, 2013 10:40 PM
MCALLEN - Valley veterans are feeling the impact of the shutdown. Many say they are frustrated; their paperwork is going nowhere. They applied for benefits, but we're told there's a backlog.
Inside the McAllen Library, between the crowd of people and cluttered tables, Fernando Quiroz finds a spot at the Veterans Benefit Fair where he can fill out his very first a claim application.
"I came here because i am interested in veteran loans and vet health care," said Quroz.
Quiroz's claim wont be approved. Instead it will be sent to Houston where it will sit in a filing cabinet with thousand of other claims. New Veterans benefits are being stopped due to the government shutdown.
Quiroz said, "I don't have any insurance. So I'm concerned that if something were to happen, what do I do?"
Quiroz is just one of hundreds at Saturday's benefit fair who are affected by the government shutdown. Veteran Land Board spokesperson Gonozal Rios said, even though the applications are not being approved right now, veterans should continue to file claims. This is because claims are retroactive. The applications are processed in the order they were received.
"Those claims are still being submitted and that's the duty to the veterans and their survivor to get that claims in so the effective date comes in as early as possible," said Rios.
For the past year the Veterans Commission has work hard to reduce backlog of applications. However, that number has gone down. The problem now is that with no one in the office, these applications are starting to pile up again.
For now, Quiroz will have to wait for his application to be approved. However, he is optimistic the government shutdown will end soon.