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What does the Government shutdown mean for you?
BEAUMONT-By: Leslie Rangel
The 18th hour of the Goverment shutdown is here.
Congress and the President are blaming one another.
The end result is thousands of federal workers are off the job.
Their absence is already impacting people in Southeast Texas.
It all begins here in Congress, Democrats and Republicans unable to set a budget by the deadline.
while the government is shut down, you can still come to the social security office.
The office is open, but there is limited access.
Flyers posted show exactly what you can do, one thing is get a critical payment.
"I came here to get social security card and they was telling me I couldn't get one," Christopher Lavane says.
Lavane found out Tuesday, the gridlock in Washington trickles down and impacts him.
"I can't get a job until I get that so no telling. It's frustrating and around here it's hard to get a job," Lavane said.
Others who came by the social security office and were also turned away also described the frustration.
"I had to come get verification but I can't do that because of government shutdown, so I don't know when that's going to happen, when that's going to take place. It's all up in the air right now," Sidney Broussard says.
Broussard needs verification to continue on medicaid,sohe can get the medicine he relies on to survive.
"I have medication, but I have to do this to prepare when I run out. I have 30 days worth but if that comes to a halt and I don't have a doctor writing me a prescription, I have no money, no insurance, no way to get it," Broussard says.
He's hoping the people on Capitol Hill reach an agreement.
He's afraid of what could happen if things don't settle quickly.
"I don't even want to think about that, I could go into coma state. I have extremely high blood pressure and congestive heart failure, my heart beats off beat," Broussard explains.
Other federal buildings and offices remained open including the post office.
Postal workers are exempt from the furloughs.
So no worries, you can still send out your mail.
For some, the effects are minimal, but for others it's a waiting game.
"That's the best thing I can do, you know, slow process," Lavane said.
"We just have to sit back and take the ride for whatever it's worth. That's it," Broussard says.
The following is a break down of what is and isn't shut down:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government shutdown has far-reaching consequences for some, but minimal impact on others.
Mail will be delivered. Social Security and Medicare benefits will continue to flow.
But vacationers will be turned away from national parks and Smithsonian museums and low-to-moderate income borrowers and first-time home buyers seeking government-backed mortgages will face delays.
Here's a look at how services are affected.
Federal air traffic controllers will remain on the job and airport screeners will keep funneling passengers through security checkpoints. Federal inspectors will continue enforcing safety rules.
The State Department will continue processing foreign applications for visas and U.S. applications for passports, since fees are collected to finance those services. Embassies and consulates overseas will continue to provide services to American citizens.
Social Security and Medicare benefits will keep coming, but there will be delays in processing new disability applications. Unemployment benefits will still go out.
Federal courts will continue operating normally for about 10 business days after the start of a shutdown, roughly until the middle of October. If the shutdown continues, the judiciary will have to begin furloughs of employees whose work is not considered essential. But cases will continue to be heard.
Deliveries will continue as usual because the U.S. Postal Service receives no tax dollars for day-to-day operations. It relies on income from stamps and other postal fees to keep running.
All national parks will be closed, as will the Smithsonian museums, including the National Zoo in Washington. Visitors using overnight campgrounds or other park facilities will be given 48 hours to make alternate arrangements and leave the park. Among the visitor centers that will be closed: the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in New York, Independence Hall in Philadelphia and Alcatraz Island near San Francisco.
New patients will not be accepted into clinical research at the National Institutes of Health, but current patients will continue to receive care. Medical research at the NIH will be disrupted and some studies will be delayed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be severely limited in spotting or investigating disease outbreaks such as the flu or that mysterious MERS virus from the Middle East.
The Food and Drug Administration will handle high-risk recalls, but will suspend most routine safety inspections. Federal meat inspections will be expected to proceed as usual.
A small number of Head Start programs, about 20 out of 1,600 nationally, will feel the impact right away. The federal Administration for Children and Families says grants expiring about Oct. 1 will not be renewed. Over time, more programs will be affected. Several of the Head Start programs that will immediately feel the pinch are in Florida. It's unclear if they will continue serving children.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, known as WIC, will shut down. The program provides supplemental food, health care referrals and nutrition education for pregnant women, mothers and their children.
School lunches and breakfasts will continue to be served, and food stamps, known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, will continue to be distributed. But several smaller feeding programs will not have the money to operate.
Americans will still have to pay their taxes and file federal tax returns, but the Internal Revenue Service says it will suspend all audits. Got questions? Sorry, the IRS says taxpayer services, including toll-free help lines, will be shut down as well.
Many low-to-moderate incomes borrowers and first-time home buyers seeking government-backed mortgages will face delays during the shutdown. The Federal Housing Administration, which guarantees about 30 percent of home mortgages, won't underwrite or approve any new loans during the shutdown. Action on government-backed loans to small businesses will be suspended.
NASA will continue to keep workers at Mission Control in Houston and elsewhere to support the International Space station, where two Americans and four others are deployed. The National Weather Service will keep forecasting weather and issuing warnings and the National Hurricane Center will continue to track storms. The scientific work of the U.S. Geological Survey will be halted.
The majority of the Department of Homeland Security's employees are expected to stay on the job, including uniformed agents and officers at the country's borders and ports of entry, members of the Coast Guard, Transportation Security Administration officers, Secret Service personnel and other law enforcement agents and officers. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services employees will continue to process green card applications.
The military's 1.4 million active duty personnel will stay on duty and President Obama signed a bill late Monday ensuring they will be paid. About half of the Defense Department's civilian employees will be furloughed.
All 116 federal prisons will remain open, and criminal litigation will proceed.
Most services offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs will continue because lawmakers approve money one year in advance for the VA's health programs. Veterans will still be able to visit hospitals for inpatient care, get mental health counseling at vet centers or get prescriptions filled at VA health clinics. Operators will still staff the crisis hotline and claims workers will still process payments to cover disability and pension benefits. But those veterans appealing the denial of disability benefits to the Board of Veterans Appeals will have to wait longer for a decision because the board will not issue any decisions during a shutdown.
Federal occupational safety and health inspectors will stop workplace inspections except in cases of imminent danger.
Associated Press writers Matthew Daly, Frederic J. Frommer, Kevin Freking, Andrew Miga, Deb Riechmann, Lauran Neergaard, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Mark Sherman, Stephen Ohlemacher, Lolita Baldor, Jesse Holland, Seth Borenstein, Mary Clare Jalonick and Alicia Caldwell contributed to this report.