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Arizona Veterans Services Department still open during shutdown

PHOENIX — The federal government is shutdown, but it’s business as usual at the Arizona Department of Veteran’s Services.

Spokesman Dave Hampton says there will be a problem at the federal veteran’s office at 5 p.m. this afternoon, however.

“Their regional office in Phoenix is going to be shutting their doors to the public,” Hampton said.

That is going to affect Arizona’s Veteran’s Services Department.

“We have a number of veterans benefits counselors in the federal office,” said Hampton. “What we’re going to do is move those counselors to the Arizona State Veteran Home in Phoenix.”

The counselors help veterans apply for federal benefits. Hampton says they’ll be able to do their job despite being in temporary quarters.

“We have the computers, we have all of the technology, we can do everything we need to do in our temporary offices in the Veteran home in Phoenix, so that won’t be a problem,” Hampton said.

But things could get dicey later on.

“The problem is going to be down the road, if this continues for awhile with the feds, in that the VA may be shutting down more services as far as claims and benefits go,” Hampton said.

Meanwhile, all Veterans Medical Centers are open and unaffected by the shutdown.