NAPLES, Fla -- Some Veterans in Southwest Florida are worried they'll be in a world of hurt if the government shuts down.
Veterans benefits and disability checks could stop completely. That means no money, no income and very few options for some local Veterans who depend on that money.
Representatives at the Vet Center in Naples say they've been taking calls all day long. Veterans are wondering if they're going to get paid on the first of the month. The answer to that is yes, but if the potential government shutdown lingers on, future checks could be withheld.
"We won't have any money coming in, but our creditors are still wanting payment," says SSG Wilfredo Vasquez.
SSG Vasquez gets two government checks a month. "This would put me in a world of hurt because I live paycheck to paycheck."
The VA's website says, "claims processing and other compensation should continue through late October, however, in the event of a prolonged shutdown, payments would be suspended when available funding is exhausted.
"If you have PTSD, you're missing an arm or a leg or an eye and can't be employable. If that stops coming in you're living on nothing," says SSG Vasquez.
WINK News first introduced you to SSG Vasquez two weeks ago when he set out to walk from Naples to Cape Coral raising awareness about the backlog in VA medical claims. Now, he says it's only going to get worse.
"Instead of 18 months, they'll have to wait another six months," says Vasquez. "That means a delay in your money, in your compensation, so you're going to be in a hardship."
Vasquez knows this is a worst case scenario, but he says it's frustrating that Veterans, who have put their lives on the line to fight for our country, have to come home to fight for their benefits.
"I'd be more worried about stuff going on back home, the family, the bills. So, it would put a burden on me."
For more information go to www.va.gov