‘Shutdown’ effects minimal, so far

With part of the federal government shut down, as of midnight Monday, the effects are expected to be minimal for at least a while.

• Social Security and Medicare checks will continue to arrive, although there could be possible delays in processing disability applications.

• The post office continues to operate and deliver mail.

Day-to-day operations of the postal system are designed to be self-supporting, operating on the sale of stamps and imposition of fees.

• Unemployment benefits are still being disbursed.

• You still have to pay your federal taxes and the Internal Revenue Service continues to operate. However, audits may cease and toll-free help lines are being shut down.

• Active duty military personnel will still be paid but paychecks are being delayed. However, about 800,000 civilian employees of the military are being furloughed as of Tuesday morning.

• Inspections under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) are being curtailed, except for those locations classified as “in extreme danger.”

• Every time there’s a government shutdown or curtailment, it seems the first entities to be visibly affected are those in the national park system and the 2013 situation is no different. The George Bush and Lyndon B. Johnson libraries in, respectively, College Station and Austin, are closed.

National park sites in Texas are closing, including San Antonio Missions and Big Bend, where campers were told Tuesday that they have two days to leave the park.

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2013-10-03 digital edition

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