Federal Government Shutdown Update

On October 1, the federal government was shutdown for the
first time in 17 years after Congress failed to pass a stopgap spending plan.
The following outlines how these U.S. Departments and agencies will function: the
Social Security Administration, the United States Courts, the Department of
Health and Human Services, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Legal
Services Cor.

The Social
Security Administration (SSA) Status of Service Activities

SSA Field Offices (FO)

Continued FO Activities

Discontinued FO Activities

§  Application
for benefits

§  Request
for appeals (reconsideration, hearings, Appeals Council)

§  Normal
post-entitlement actions:

o   Change
your address or direct deposit information

o   Process
a change in your living arrangement or income (SSI recipients only)

o   Verify
or change citizenship status

o   Accept
reports of death

o   Replace
a lost or missing Social Security payment

§  Change
a representative payee

§  Issue
a critical payment or non-receipts

§  Provide
critical information technology (IT) support for daily processing activities

§  Issue
a new or replacement Social Security cards

§  Benefit
verifications

§  Replace
your Medicare card

§  Issue
a proof of income letter

§  Payee
accountings

§  Prisoner
activities

§  Requests
from third parties for queries

§  Request
for Numi-lites (i.e. Social Security Number verifications)

§  Freedom
of Information Act (FOIA) requests

 

 

State Disability Determination Services (DDS)

Continued DDS Activities

Discontinued DDS Activities

§  Initial
claims, including terminally ill, compassionate allowances, quick disability
determinations, dire need, and wounded warriors

§  Reconsiderations

§  Critical
IT support for daily processing

§  CDRs

§  Assistance
requests for hearings

§  End-of-line
quality assurance reviews, IT enhancements activities, public relations, and
training

 

Offices of Disability and Adjudicative Review (ODAR)

Continued ODAR Activities

Discontinued ODAR Activities

§  Hearing
cases

§  Deciding
cases

§  Screening
cases for on-the-record decisions

§  Scheduling
hearings

§  Hearings
appeals

§  Docketing
and tracking new cases

§  Drafting
relevant notices for claimants

§  Preparing
electronic records for claimants and representatives

§  Identifying
missing evidence and developing record

§  Exhibiting
case files for Administrative Law Judges

§  Quality
assurance review activities

§  Adding
new medical and vocational experts to blanket purchase agreements

§  Decision-writing

§  Processing
bias complaints from claimants and representatives

§  Responding
to congressional inquiries regarding support for casework on constituent
hearing and appeals

§  Conducting
all activities dependent on Operations support, including enrollment of
appointment representatives for eFolder access

§  Responding
to FOIA requests and public inquiries

§  Providing
training and IT support or enhancements for hearing offices

 

The United States
Courts Status of Service Activities

*Information taken from the United States Courts’ website:
“Following a government shutdown on October 1, 2013, the federal Judiciary will
remain open for business for approximately 10 days. On or around October 15,
2013, the Judiciary will reassess its situation and provide further guidance.
All proceedings and deadlines remain in effect as scheduled, unless otherwise
advised. Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) will remain in
operation for the electronic filing of documents with courts.” Refer to
individual court websites for further information.

Legal Services
Corps Status of Service Activities

All activities for the Legal Services Corps (LSC) will
continue. The LSC is a private, nonprofit corporation, not a federal agency.

The Department of
Health and Human Services (HHS) Status of Service Activities

Administration for
Community Living (ACL)

*Aging services provided through Older Americans Act dollars
are likely to continue for some period using state or other funding resources.

Continued Activities

No Federal Funding For:

§  Aging
and Disability Resource Center

§  Health
Care Fraud and Abuse Control

§  Senior
Nutrition programs

§  Native
American Nutrition and Supportive Services

§  Prevention
of Elder Abuse and Neglect program

§  Long-Term
Care Ombudsman program

§  Protection
and Advocacy for person with developmental disabilities

 

Centers for Medicare
and Medicaid Services (CMS)

Continued Activities

Discontinued Activities

§  Large
portion of ACA activities

o   Coordination
between Medicaid and the Marketplace

o   Insurance
rate reviews

§  Medicare
Program

§  Center
for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation

§  Pre-exiting
Condition Insurance Plan

§  States
will have funding for Medicaid and CHIP on October 1

§  Cannot
continue discretionary funding for health care fraud and abuse strike force
teams – operations will stop

§  Fewer
recertification and initial surveys for Medicare and Medicaid providers would
be completed

§  Beneficiaries
at risk of quality of care deficiencies

§  *DC cuts off Medicaid payments

o   Providers
can submit claims and DC would pay the claims after receiving budget approval
from Congress

 

Veterans Affairs Status
of Service Activities

The Department of Veterans Affairs press office says that
veterans hospitals and clinics will remain open during the government
shutdown.  Most toll-free numbers are
being answered, but regional offices are closed. Depending on the length of the
shutdown, benefits payments scheduled for Nov. 1 may be delayed.  No date has been given for when the VA would
run out of money.

 

The Veterans Benefits Administration is open and accepting
new claims but processing of new and existing claims will be slowed.  Claims processors have been working mandatory
overtime for months, but with the shutdown, no overtime is allowed.  The overtime had allowed the VA to whittle
away at the backlog of claims.

http://www.va.gov/opa/docs/Field_Guide_20130927.pdf

 

Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

Continued Activities

§  Medical
services

§  Medical
support and compliance

§  Medical
facilities

§  Medical
and prosthetic research

 

Veterans Benefits Administration

Continued Activities

§  Administer
the Insurance Program

§  Administer
the Loan Guaranty Program

§  Ongoing
processing and payment of compensation, military pension, education and
vocational rehabilitation benefits

§  Staff
compensation and pension National Call Centers

§  Process
benefit payments

 

National
Cemetery Administration

Continued Activities

§  Burials

§  Process
applications for headstone and markers

§  First
Notice of Death

§  Oversight
and Administration

 

Internal Revenue
Service (IRS)

A summary of IRS operations during the lapse in
appropriations link contains a brief Q&A.
The IRS FY2014 Shutdown Contingency Plan
contains detailed information on continued and discontinued activities. 

 

 

Continued Activities

Discontinued Activities

§  Services
performed by the IRS that are necessary to the Social Security
Administration’s carrying out certain functions that would continue

§  Upcoming
Tax Year forms design and printing

§  Completion
and testing of the upcoming Filing Year programs

§  Processing
of tax returns that include remittances

§  Processing
of electronic tax returns

§  Continuing
the IRS’ computer operations to prevent the loss of data

§  Protection
of statute expiration, bankruptcy, liens and seizure cases

§  Protecting
federal lands, buildings and other property owned by the United States

§  Maintaining
minimum staff necessary to handle budget matter

§  Maintaining
minimum staff necessary to perform accounting functions and to prevent the
loss of accounting data

§  Administering
contract related to safety of human life or protection of Government property

§  Maintaining
minimal building facilities personnel to maintain safe conditions for
essential personnel

§  Maintaining
criminal law enforcement and undercover operations

§  Most
headquarters and administrative functions not related to the safety of life
and protection of property

§  All
audit functions, examinations of return, and processing of non-electronic tax
returns that do no include remittances

§  Non-automated
collections

§  Legal
counsel

§  Taxpayer
services

o   Responding
to taxpayer questions (call sites) during non-filing season

§  Information
systems functions

§  All
planning, research, and training and development activities

 

 

Compiled by Brian Lindberg and Marly Flores.

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