JACKSONVILLE, Fla.(WOKV) -- A top city leader tells WOKV News that the partial federal government shutdown is slowing down services for local veterans in Jacksonville and Northeast Florida.
"Veterans don't deserve this ... and their family members," said Retired Rear Admiral Victor Guillory, director of Jacksonville's Department of Military Affairs, Veterans and Disabled Services.
Guillory said the federal Department of Veterans Affairs are still receiving initial benefits claims, but right now they are not accepting appeals.
"So it means longer wait times for our veterans and eligible family members," he said.
On Tuesday, the Department of Veterans Affairs furloughed 7,000 employees at the Veterans Benefits Administration in addition to closing regional offices.
Guillory says the city's ability to submit claims paperwork and get a quick response is "slowly falling by the wayside."
"When we have the tough questions, or we need to get a specific answer, the ability to have someone on the other side answer the phone that's competent and at work is the problem we're having right now," Guillory said.