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Veterans At Risk Of Not Getting Disability, Pension Benefits

Updated: Friday, October 4 2013, 05:39 PM CDT

Frustration and desperation: Carlette Satterwhite is part of a veteran program that pays for college but she needs her paperwork in by today, in order to get funding. That's because the office processing her money will be closed Monday due to the government shutdown.

We were there as she struggled to get her paperwork faxed from a woman at her school to the Veterans Affairs office in Austin.

Satterwhite told the operator: "If I don't get to finish school and get this certification in, that's ten years of my life down the drain, so can you please get it in."

On the US Department of Veterans affairs site it states that "in the event of a prolonged shutdown, claims processing and payments in these programs will be suspended when funds are exhausted."

That uncertainty has many retired and or disabled veterans feeling anxious.

Dewayne Luster is both retired and on disability through the VA. He says, "One or both or neither could be affected, I have no idea right now."

Luster just bought a new home in South Austin and says he'll have to dig into his savings if the government shutdown continues.

"I'm trying to be as frugal as possible at this point now to make sure our reserves are going to be okay," says Luster.

While he has savings to fall back on, it'll be tough.

Satterwhite says the worst part is not knowing. "As a veteran, I just hope we can all keep it together for those of us that suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder because, without our pay, they are just putting in the ground, I'm sorry."

For a veterans field guide to the government shutdown log onto: http://www.va.gov/.

By Lydia Pantazes

Veterans At Risk Of Not Getting Disability, Pension Benefits


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