Veterans' Affairs office to lay off 7,000





SIERRA VISTA — On the day Fort Huachuca’s commissary reopens, another branch of the federal government is laying off 7,000 workers, which starts today.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is furloughing Veterans Benefits Administration employees which will suspend some programs during the time of the lay offs.

However, the Arizona Department of Veteran Services will continue to provide assistance which the state supports but the impact will be felt by those being served, said Dave Hampton, spokesman for the state agency.

Some state employees co-located at the VA Phoenix Regional Office have been moved to the Arizona State Veteran Home in Phoenix to continue providing assistance, he said.

Other state veterans benefit counselors will continue to work at their normal places throughout Arizona, which includes the facility at the Southern Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Sierra Visa, the spokesman said.

Federal VA officials said all its medical facilities and clinics will continue to operate for inpatients and outpatients and other special care services.

Veteran claim processing and payments in the compensation, pension, education and vocational rehabilitation programs are to continue until at least late October.

In its Veterans Field Guide to Government Shutdown, which was updated Monday, the VA listed programs both impacted and not impacted by the decision, which can be found at www.va.gov/opa/appropriations_lapse_plan.asp.

For information concerning Arizona’s continuing assistance support 1veterans can go to www.azdvs.gov or call (602) 244-3373.