MESSAGE FROM THE DEPUTY SECRETARY
Planning for Potential Lapse in Funding
As many of you are aware, annual funding for much of the Government expires on September 30, 2023. The Administration will continue working with the Congress to complete appropriations for Fiscal Year 2024.
We at VA are preparing for all contingencies, including the possibility that a lapse in funding could occur. A lapse would mean that certain Government activities would cease due to a lack of appropriated funding, and that designated pre-notified employees of this agency would be temporarily furloughed. We’ve prepared a contingency plan to execute an orderly shutdown of activities that would be affected by such a lapse. After the lapse ends, furloughed and excepted employees will receive retroactive pay for the furlough period as soon as possible.
Most VA operations will continue without interruption if there is a shutdown. Health care through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and mandatory benefit payments to Veterans are funded through an advance appropriation. In addition, certain programs meet legal requirements to continue performing their designated duties and are considered “excepted.” These include benefits processing at the Veterans Benefits Administration; interments through the National Cemetery Administration; and certain information technology functions at the Office of Information and Technology.
The Department’s Fiscal Year 2024 projection is that 97% of VA employees would be fully funded or continue to perform excepted functions during a shutdown. 407,599 (out of a pre-shutdown total of 456,067) VA employees are VHA employees funded by advance appropriations or multi-year appropriations. Others are considered “excepted.” The total projected number of employees who would continue to report to work is 440,437. The 15,620 employees that are not excepted will continue to work until the carry over funds are depleted, then be furloughed.
More details on VA’s Contingency Plan for a potential lapse in appropriations can be found here.
Thank you for your hard work, dedication, and patience through this process, and for all that you do for Veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors.
Tanya J. Bradsher