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Some Things to Expect if the Federal Government Shuts Down

Sept. 30, 2013

USA Today published 66 questions and answers about the government shutdown that could kick in at 12:01 AM Tuesday.

Here are some highlights from that list of what to expect if the government shutdown happens:

- Mail delivery continues as normal.

- Government unemployment benefits continue as normal.

- Social Security benefits continue as normal. Application for benefits, change of address and signing up for direct deposit also continue.

- Replacement of Social Security card, benefit verification statements, and earnings record correction will not be available during the shutdown.

- Food stamp services continue as normal.

- Federal school lunch programs are expected to be able to provide meals through October.

- Active-duty military will be paid, though the Pentagon might not be able to process its payroll in time for Oct. 15 paychecks if the shutdown lasts longer than a week.

- The Department of Veterans Affairs said if the shutdown continues into late October, it will run out of money for compensation and pension checks to more than 3 million veterans who rely on the money to support themselves.

- Around 400,000 civilian defense workers will be furloughed.

- Federal employees might be paid retroactively. Congress granted retroactive pay to furloughed workers after the shutdowns of the mid-1990s, but that wouldn't necessarily happen again.

- IRS walk-in assistance centers and telephone hotlines will d be closed.

- National parks will close.

- Some museums will close.

- The shutdown will likely not save taxpayers any money. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget says shutdowns cost money in terms of contingency planning, lost user fees and back pay. The government shutdown in 1995-96 is estimated to have cost $1.4 billion.

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