This morning the federal government went into a partial shutdown.
PCOA has received concerned calls and messages over the past few days from people asking what this shutdown will mean for them. Though this has broader implications for federal services, many vital services to older adults will remain funded and operating during the shutdown. These include Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and services like home-delivered meals and the home and community-based services provided by PCOA and other Area Agencies on Aging across the country.
Critical infrastructure will continue to operate. This includes the military and law enforcement. However, these dedicated workers will continue to work without pay from the federal government until the shutdown ends.
Nonetheless, low-income older adults will be impacted by this shutdown. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is shut down - this is difficult for older adults who depend on HUD for subsidized and affordable housing. Other agencies will shut down as well, including the Department of Education, the National Transportation Safety Board, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Other agencies may reduce the amount of staff working, for instance, the IRS is expected to furlough 56% of its employees.
We encourage you to reach out to your Members of Congress and the White House TODAY and ask them to come to a compromise to reopen the federal government.
Phone lines may be busy and during a federal shutdown Congressional staff are furloughed, so please be patient and persistent when calling or writing an email or letter.
There are many older adults who are or may become worried that essential benefits and services may not be available to them. Please share this with your friends and family to assure them that federal benefits and services most older adults receive will continue to function as usual.