Archived Story

DJFS not affected by shutdown — yet

Published 10:39am Friday, October 4, 2013

Even though it gets approximately 60 percent of its funding from the federal government, the on-going shutdown hasn’t affected the county’s Department of Jobs and Family Services.

“At this point it is business as usual,” DJFS director Gene Myers said. “Of course, the longer it stays shut down the more potential for it to start affecting us.”

All client benefits for October had already been funded before the government shutdown took effect. Thirty to 31 percent of Lawrence County residents receive benefits from the DJFS.

“They will continue to receive entitled benefits,” Myers said. “Food stamps, medical will continue for right now.”

The shutdown, the first since 1995, began on Tuesday after the House of Representatives and the Senate could not agree on legislation to fund specific parts of the government. The dispute centers over the Affordable Care Act, whose enactment the Republican-driven House wants to delay. The l995 shutdown lasted for 21 days.

A directive from the state Department of Jobs and Family Services told local DJFS directors that the longer the shutdown the more impact it will have on local communities, Myers said.

“You are always worried on how you cope with it,” he said. “At this point in time, it is not a huge crisis. We are taking into consideration some of the strategies to make sure we keep everything paid up. It will have an impact if it continues to stay shut down.”

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