How will the government shutdown affect you?

How will the government shutdown affect you?

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6 News Reporter Alexis Zotos sits down with Bill Fox, the director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Tennessee, for an explanation of what the shutdown could mean for East Tennessee. 6 News Reporter Alexis Zotos sits down with Bill Fox, the director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Tennessee, for an explanation of what the shutdown could mean for East Tennessee.

By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The mail will still come, the TSA agents will still screen you at the airport and the essential government personnel will still head to work Tuesday, but with the first government shutdown in 17 years now a reality, many people will notice changes come October 1.

"If you're trying to sign up for new social security benefits, you probably won't be able to do that, if you're waiting on a refund from the IRS you may not get it," explained Bill Fox, the director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Tennessee.

All workers and programs deemed essential will continue on as usual. That includes the military, National Security, and air traffic controllers.

Most of the 3.3 million government workers fall under the essential category but more than 783,000 employees will be furloughed and told to go home.

Things like food stamps, unemployment and social security benefits are considered essential and will not be affected.

Some things could be slowed and you won't be able to get a new or replacement social security card.

National parks, DC museums and other non-essential offices will close.

"It's minor only to the people who don't need a new passport tomorrow or a via tomorrow, to them its major," explained Fox.

As for the military, active duty members will be paid without delay thanks to a bill passed earlier Monday. However, civilian workers will be furloughed.

According to the Veterans Health Administration, VA hospitals and clinics will also remain open as they are already funded through the fiscal year 2014.

Disaster response will not be affected. However, "non-disaster" grants such as state and local preparedness programs would be postponed.

Federal loans could also be put on hold.

"If you're a person out making SBA loans, or you're approving loans and you're not at work, you can't approve them. So there very well may be a small business waiting on a loan tomorrow or Wednesday or Thursday and can't come up with the money to operate," explained Fox. "But there are a lot of dire situations we could come up with."

Fox says there are many individual concerns brought by the first government shut down in 17 years, but the thing that effects all of us is the economy.

"We're obviously to the 11th hour here and again what it raises is a lot of uncertainty. In a fragile economy the last thing we need is a lot of uncertainty

Coming up in a couple of weeks, the US is expected to reach the debt ceiling. Fox says coupling that with the government shutdown could create enough uncertainty in the economy to go back into a recession.

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