Potential government shutdown worries Valley veterans, could impact some VA benefits

By: Lily Celeste

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A potential government shutdown has thousands of Rio Grande Valley veterans worried as their VA benefits could be impacted.

"That's their livelihoods. Some of them don't work because they have PTSD. Some of them don't work because they have one injury or another," RGV Army veteran Rosendo Castañeda said.

He was drafted out of high school and fought in the Vietnam War. Now, he spends his time as the Post Commander for Elsa's VFW Post.

Castañeda is one of an estimated 21,000 veterans in Hidalgo County who could have their benefits impacted if the government shuts down. 

Congress is less than a week away from their Friday deadline to agree on a government spending bill.

"Our VA regional offices that file our claims and make decisions on our claims, they will also shut down. So any pending claims that veterans have, will be on standby until this government shutdown will cease," Hidalgo County Veteran's Services Office Director Samuel Perez said.

Perez says staying in touch with his office is a great way veterans can stay updated about the shutdown, and he wants veterans to know their usual benefits won't be interrupted. 

"Our VA compensation, our pension checks and our survivors checks are all continued. They will not be disturbed at all, so our veterans should not worry about that," Perez said.

Watch the video above for the full story.


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