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Top 10 Things Every Older New Yorker Should Know About a Possible Government Shutdown

us capitol
Photo credit: Jacqueline Poggi

With a possible government shutdown looming just hours away. Many of New York's 50+ have questions about how this might effect them.  AARP New York has put together ten things that all older New Yorkers should know about the pending government shutdown:  

1)      YES. You’ll still be able to buy stamps - The U.S. Postal Service functions as an independent business unit.

2)    Need a passport? – Planning a trip down the road, you may want to hurry up! The Department of State says it has some funds outside the annual congressional appropriation. "Consular operations domestically and overseas will remain 100% operational as long as there are sufficient fees to support operations,"  the department says.

3)      NO, you won’t be able to visit national parks.

4)      YES. T he Affordable Care Act will still go into effect. The state-run exchanges for the uninsured would open as scheduled Tuesday. "The marketplaces will be open on Tuesday, no matter what, even if there is a government shutdown," President Obama said Friday.

5)    YES. You will continue to get AND can I apply for Social Security benefits.  Social Security is a mandatory spending program, and the people who send those checks would continue to work under a legal doctrine called "necessary implication."

6)    YES. You will continue to get their Medicare benefits.

7)    YES. Medicaid's core functions will continue unimpeded, as long as any government shutdown is fairly short.

8)    YES. You will continue to get your unemployment benefits. The Employment and Training Administration "will continue to provide essential functions, as occurred during the shutdown of 1995," according to the  Department of Labor contingency plan.

9)    YES. You will still be able to receive their food stamp benefits. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)  is funded through the Recovery Act and from funds that don't expire for another year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

10) MAYBE. For now, veterans will continue to get their benefits.  The Department of Veterans Affairs said if the shutdown continues into late October, it will run out of money for compensation and pension checks to more than 3.6 million veterans who rely on the money to support themselves.

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