The partial federal government shutdown is blocking veterans from receiving help with benefits claims.
The Day of New London reports that the Veterans Benefits Administration furloughed 7,000 employees nationally and halted public access to its 56 regional offices, including the Hartford regional office in Newington.
A voicemail message Tuesday at the benefits office at the Naval Submarine Base in Groton said the office also was closed until further notice.
The VBA administers compensation, pension, education, vocational rehabilitation and employment, loan guaranty and insurance benefit programs for veterans. The furloughs affect one-third of its workforce.
Educational and vocational counseling for veterans and outreach activities also have been suspended.
Veterans Administration medical centers, clinics and other health services are funded and will remain open.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.