Some Government-Funded Programs Safe Despite Possible Shutdown

Monday, September 30th 2013, 7:05 pm
By: News On 6

With a potential government shutdown looming, many people wonder what it means for us locally. It's hard to say how long a government shutdown could last, but we've learned some government-funded programs would continue.

Government money funds hundreds of programs - from home loans to payments for retirees to paychecks for members of the military. The Social Security Administration says if the government is shutdown, Social Security benefits would continue to be paid and those who get the checks won't see any changes to their dates of payment. The administration also says disability applications would still be processed, although there may be a delay because some employees will be furloughed.

The home loans are the form of an FHA loan which usually goes to borrowers with low-to-moderate income or first-time home buyers.

"I don't think they should be concerned," said Karen Heston, a mortgage banker with BOK.

9/30/2013 Related Story: How The Government Shutdown Will Impact Oklahomans

She says the only program she's heard of that would be put on hold during a shutdown would be the Native American loan program. There's scarcely been a word, she says, from the feds in regards to FHA loans, but she does say the government plans to keep a skeleton crew on staff to help process new applications. She doesn't expect those looking for an FHA loan to have trouble.

"So, again, what I'm being told is that there shouldn't be a problem. Now I guess, worst case scenario if something goes on weeks and weeks and weeks that's uncharted territory, so I think we're probably all up in the air with what's going to happen," Heston said.

There are resolutions in Congress to continue to pay active duty military personnel. A spokesman for the Oklahoma National Guard says it's too early to know how a shutdown would impact them. He says it usually takes a few days into the shutdown before the state can determine what cuts would need to be made.

The Oklahoma WIC Program has found sufficient funds to carry the program through at least two weeks so that clients with WIC food vouchers can still utilize them. If after two weeks the federal Appropriations Act of 2014 has still not been signed, then Oklahoma's WIC Program will reassess its options.