Posted by Ken Tucci, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – A lot of you have sent us “curiosities” asking about the repercussions if the federal government shuts down.  Our Jim Armstrong provides these answers.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong answers questions about the looming government shutdown

I was planning to mail my tax check this Friday to the IRS.  Is this a good idea? – Julie, Leominster

Yes and no.  The Postal Service is not affected by a shutdown, so your check will get to the tax man.  Shutdown or not, all returns must be postmarked by the 18th.  But IRS staffers are affected, so refunds from paper returns will be delayed.  If you file electronically, you should be ok.

Would checks still be issued to people collecting unemployment?  – Olga, Quincy

The Labor Department says….probably.  But local officials are more optimistic.  Jim checked with the Mass. Unemployment office today and was told that payments will continue normally no matter what.  There is some concern that a very long shutdown might affect extended benefits, but Mass. officials say that won’t be a problem here.

Won’t Federal employees eventually be paid, and therefore just get extra paid vacation days?  – Joe, Bridgewater

Almost certainly not.  Furloughed workers would  need an act of Congress to collect back wages, something experts think is very unlikely.  Fifteen years ago some workers did get retroactive pay, but in this economic climate, that probably won’t happen again.

But here’s a caution.  In almost every case, no one can say with 100% certainty what’s going to happen.  Even agency experts say things like…this service “should” continue, or that benefit “would likely” be extended.  We won’t know how everything will play out until it does.

 Do you think there will be a shutdown?  And does it matter?

Comments (8)
  1. Dawenmarie says:

    my question is this..if we are so broke governement has to shut down..then where are all these billions of dollars for these wars we shouldnt even be in comin from? and all this money and help we send to toher countries in japan? STOP SENDING AMERICAS RESOURCES to these other countries and we’d be rich..get us out of these other countries that dont want us there to begin with..take care of AMERICA before you volunteer our resources to japan!!

  2. ENUFF says:

    I hear that our fighting military and their dependants won;t be paid is this true? If the military is not paid will Congress also not be paid? I don’t know the answer but let me say this …hahahahahahahaha of course they will pay themselves!!!

  3. Sandy says:

    I am a retired federal employee and I am curious if government pensions will be affected by the shutdown. I know social security checks will still go out but what about pensions?
    Thank you for your answer.

  4. michelle says:

    i receive ssdi and have it direct deposited. will i still receive it if we have a shut down ? it is my only source if income. My mother still works and receives her social security and hers is also direct deposited and will she receive it ?

  5. DStein says:

    The longer they’re shutdown, the more money taxpayers will save and the faster the debt will be paid off. The scary part is the government would have to be completely closed for four straight years to pay off Obama’s $14 trillion of debt!

  6. Debbie says:

    I am wondering why the Federal government is contributing 40million dollars to the building in honor of Senator Edward Kennedy? I know he and his family have done a great deal for America but right now we are to far in dept. It will be a part of history, but the Kennedy’s have plenty of money and so don’t all of their friends. I am sure they could raise enough funds on their own, instead taking away from all of the little people. On one hand we are almost shutting down the Federal Government and now doing cut backs of 38million which is almost the same amount. So why not let the rich take care of the building fund? It just doesn’t make any sense, Just like the war and all the other countries we are helping makes no sense. We need to worry about our poor and middle class people more!

  7. mark bergeron says:

    my comment is about what would have happened. I found it disgusting last night to hear that a bus driver selling crack was suspended with pay pending a trial but our troops would go without pay if the government did not resolve the budget. i think the next bill passed should be to remove theirs and the presidents pay and reinstate the troops pay if this should happen in the future. many of the officials on tv said that they would give their pay back, but that would not cover the mtg. of the families of troops. im curious to see if they are willing to back their pledge with a bill for future potential shutdowns.

  8. emom says:

    Ok why is it that the hacks of the federal goverment NEED to get their over stuffed salaries But they are willing to TAKE away form those that are truely in major need of services, the ederly did not cause this defiect, neither did the children, for that matter NO PERSON THAT PAYS THEIR TAXES, WORKS HARD GETS NOTHING FOR NOTHING , HAS CONTRIBUTED TO THIS MESS,,,,Oh no it was the result of over paying politicians giving them credit cards that we all pay for, giving them expensive vehilces, to drive at taxpayers cost, they want to shut down family planning clinics FOR WHAT to save on HELPING children and mothers, like what will that do, I beleive all federal goverment politiians need to have major pay cuts…. They do not need to make the 3 figures a year, They dont need to aske for and get raises for any reason , SORRY LIVE WITH IN YOUR MEANS, those that pay your salary have to every day. How fair do you think that is to us. The federal goverment created this mess its their problem Not any one taxpayers.not at all

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