DC impasse hangs up local lives
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - As the partial Federal shutdown drags on we are hearing more from some of the people caught in the middle.
The Arizona Department of Economic Security is the pipeline for unemployment benefits. It says it has enough Federal money to last through the end of the year but if the Federal stand off is not resolved soon, money to process payments could run out the end of this month, or early next month and unemployment payments would stop.
Military pay will keep flowing during the dispute, but the partial shutdown creates a real problem for veterans now out of the service.
Erica Rivas just got out of the Air Force. We found her at Pima County's One Stop employment center. She was depending on GI Bill benefits to pay for college. But Federal workers to process her tuition check are off the job, so she will miss at least one semester.
She says, "I actually applied before the shutdown but now, it's shut down and I can't even get any kind of payment to them for Pima at all.
Shutdown issues have not caught up with Army veteran Alex Marquez. He got his GI benefits in time for this semester but wonders what will happen if the impasse drags on.
"Am I gonna be able to finish my program and also my disability check. I have my three kids, I need, and my family and we count on that check and also that GI Bill that comes in."
The Washington stand-off is stalling income taxes. That might be good news, if you're in an audit. Auditors are on furlough. If you're on extension, trying to meet the October 15th deadline, and you have a question, IRS workers you could have asked are out.
If you can't call a specialist like accountant Robert Studinger the best move may be to file, then amend if you learn later you made a mistake.
He says, "The key there is make sure, one your taxes are at least paid for. If you're overpaid then you never have a problem because IRS can't penalize you."
Federal dollars cover school breakfast and lunch programs. Some districts serve as many as 14 thousand hungry kids.
Sunnyside, Flowing Wells, Amphi, Marana and Vail all say they will keep their food programs going.
Most of those districts say if Federal programs stay stalled for a very long time, they may end up tapping other parts of their district budgets to keep the kids fed.