WASHINGTON, D.C. - The
National Association of Social Workers (NASW) calls on Congress and the White
House to act to fully reopen the federal government immediately. Allowing the
shutdown to continue is unconscionable.
currently at the 33-day mark for the partial shutdown of the federal government.This is the longest such shutdown in our
nation’s history and it is exacting a heavy toll on many NASW members and the often
financially fragile clients they serve.
800,000 federal employees, including
social workers and allied professionals, are negatively affected by the
shutdown. Almost half of these federal employees have been furloughed without
Many of our nation’s most
vulnerable, including children and older adults, could lose essential
safety net services if the government is not restored to full operations. The
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),
and Urban Development (HUD) Rental Assistance program, and Temporary
Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), among others, are unable to fulfill their
SNAP participants have received their
benefits even during the shutdown, but these are in jeopardy in future months.
Contracts for HUD’s programs for the lowest-income
seniors, people living with disabilities, and families with children have not been renewed. This places nearly
70,000 program participants at risk of major rent hikes and possible evictions. Low-income Rural Housing Assistance
participants were informed on January 11 that due to the federal shutdown they would have to pay the full (not discounted) rent by January 20 or face
eviction. Normally, their rent is limited to 30 percent of their income.
TANF authorization expired in December.
The federal government could not distribute $4.2 billion to states for the
period January to March due to the shutdown. States are permitted to cover TANF
expenses, but it is unclear how many will do so and for how long.
For more information about the impacts of the shutdown on
the most vulnerable, please visit the following webpages:
Coalition on Human Needs
Food Research and Action Center
National Low-IncomeHousing Coalition