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On October 1, 2013 the US federal government enforced a government shutdown that lasted through October 17, 2013. While the shutdown is officially over, there are still several parts that need to be cleaned up for senior citizens.

When the government shutdown went into effect, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs had to put a stop to disability and pension claims. Over 418,000 claims were forced to be put on hold and over 5 million veterans were afraid of not receiving their benefit checks on November 1, 2013. Luckily, the shutdown lasted a little over two weeks, which allowed regional offices to re-open and prepare for senior citizens to still receive their benefits checks in time. The main issue they are now currently working on is catching up with the backlogged claims, which seemed to be an outstanding issue from the past.

Scientists who have been conducting research on Alzheimer?s was put to a halt during the government shutdown, and scientists are still extremely concerned about what is to happen next. Research operates twenty-four hours a day; seven days a week. Not only is there a lack of job security in the labs, investors and scientists are concerned that their patients won?t trust them anymore. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is back in business, but the Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) is on an indefinite hold until the federal government can agree to a reasonable budget.


Other various programs, including Meals on Wheels, that provide nutritional services to senior citizens in the United States were affected by the shutdown as well. There was a 70 percent decrease in the amount of meals were being delivered to elderly people. The numbers are slowly working their way back up, but it will take more time than they may have. One of the major concerns for senior citizens is Medicare and Medicaid. Despite the occurrences of the government shutdown, senior citizens are still eligible to receive the services and funding as needed through these health-care benefits. There are currently no outstanding issues with Medicare and Medicaid due to the federal government having previously saved money specifically for an outstanding situation such as this.

With the government shutdown officially being over, there are still some seniors who are in limbo. The federal government is slowly working to get back on it?s feet. If you have any other questions regarding your senior living rights, claims and other government issues, please visit If you are a Veteran, please visit

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