Fort Polk details impact of government shutdown - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Fort Polk officials provide update on impact of government shutdown

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FORT POLK, LA (KPLC) -

Some operations on Fort Polk are being reduced or curtailed during to the government shutdown.

Army officials say Department of the Army civilians affected by the government shutdown should know about Army Emergency Relief's Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund (FEEA).

FEEA is a foundation that supports Department of the Army civilians in times of need.

Employees must meet the threshold of having trouble paying for basic living expenses like rent/mortgage and utilities.

Assistance is provided in the form of a non-interest bearing loan.

No furlough loans will be made until an employee actually receives a "short" paycheck and meets the other loan criteria. FEEA loan applications can be found at www.feea.org/GetHelp

AER continues to provide assistance to soldiers and their families that are in need of grants and loans, officials said.

Army officials also say the shutdown does not affect retiree pay. Retiree pay is funded from an annuity fund, not a military appropriation.

The first pay day that could possibly be impacted for soldiers is Oct. 15. Some banks and credit unions, including USAA Federal Savings and Navy Federal credit union, have announced that they will credit their soldier members' bank accounts as if the government made the deposit on Oct. 15.

Soldiers should check with their banking institution to see if their accounts will be credited in the event that Oct. 15's pay is disrupted.

In addition:

The Fort Polk commissary closed on Oct. 2 for duration of the shutdown.

The Fort Polk Army and Air Force Exchange Service will be business as usual.

Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital will continue to provide medical services to its beneficiaries during the government shutdown that began Oct. 1. BJACH's Outpatient Pharmacy, lab and radiology departments will be open. The Outpatient Pharmacy is open 7:30 a.m.- 6 p.m. weekdays.

Acute Outpatient Care will be available in all clinics. Scheduled appointments will not be canceled. However, the ability to schedule new appointments will be limited during the affected period.

BJACH's emergency room remains open 24/7. All inpatient (wards) and Wounded Warrior Care activities will continue as well as medical support to mission critical operational forces and training.

If you cannot keep your appointment, call 337-531-3011, Option 2 to cancel the appointment.

Army Community Service will cancel or postpone scheduled classes through Oct. 11. Individual programs will send information about their classes. ACS will be open during the shutdown and will provide critical limited services: Army Emergency Relief, Soldier and Family Advocacy Program, and Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Program; however you may experience long wait times.

For more information please call the main ACS number at 337-531-1941.

Emergency service through Army Community Service will continue. To report cases of suspected child abuse/neglect and spouse/intimate partner abuse, call 531-HOPE (4673). 

Army Emergency Relief (AER) will have limited staffing. Call 531-1957. After duty hours, weekends and holidays call Armed Forces Emergency Services at (877) 272-7337.

Child, Youth and School Services continues uninterrupted.

Auto Skills Center is closed until further notice.

Business Operations and Recreation facilities will be business as usual until further notice.

For the status of DFMWR events / closures, refer to the Fort Polk MWR Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/#!/fortpolkmwr

Updates will be posted as information is received via:

Fort Polk Guardian Facebook (search Fort Polk Guardian on the Facebook site).

The Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk website at www.jrtc-polk.army.mil.

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