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VA furloughs 2,700 IT employees

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The Department of Veterans Affairs furloughed 2,754 IT employees Oct. 7 after carryover balances that retained the employees through the first days of the partial government shutdown were exhausted.

That is fewer than the 3,200 IT employees VA predicted it would furlough in its shutdown contingency plan, but still a sizeable percentage of an IT staff comprising about 8,000 individuals.

IT workers also make of a disproportionate share of VA furloughs. Overall, VA planned to furlough about 14,000 employees -- about 4 percent of its total workforce.

On Oct. 8, VA announced it furloughed about 7,000 Veterans Benefits Administration employees, leaving all regional VBA offices closed. VA hospitals and counseling programs are still open, and VA will continue to process claims and accept new ones. However, VA spokeswoman Victoria Dillon said the announced furloughs could slow claim-processing times.

Dillon said the claims processing and payments in pension, compensation, education and vocational rehabilitation programs will continue through October. But she stressed that if the government shutdown stretches into November, processing and payments would be suspended.

About the Author

Frank Konkel is a former staff writer for FCW.

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