Shutdown worries disabled vets: 'We don't really have other resources'

Shutdown worries disabled vets: 'We don't really have other resources'
Disabled veteran Cliff Cole plays with his daughter during an interview held Friday. Cole is one of 34,000 veterans living in Lane County, many of whom are worried about receiving benefit checks on November 1.

EUGENE, Ore. --- As the government shutdown continues, many people in Lane County say the effects are now showing up too close to home.

Officials said that there are 34,000 veterans living in the county. Since the government shutdown over a week ago, some disabled veterans like Cliff Cole are worried that benefit checks might not make it out on November 1.

"It's what we pay the mortgage for our house with, it's how we pay our car payment, it's what we feed our kids with, it's everything to us. If we don't get that money, we don't really have other resources,” said Cole.

Cole served as a combat medic in Iraq from 2001-2004. He was hit by a mortar attack and left with a traumatic brain injury.

"They're playing junior high politics, and it's not fair, it's not fair for them to play with our lives,” said Cole.

Lane County Health and Human services spokesperson Jason Davis said everyday the government shutdown continues is another day disabled veterans will have to wait for their November benefits check.

"What this shutdown is doing for those veterans is it's really putting them in a difficult place. Having to re-evaluate on the spot, unexpectedly, on how their going to make ends meet,” said Davis.

Health officials said local veteran benefits combine to more than $100 million annually. 

"We did that knowing that if something was to happen to us, our families would be taken care of and we would be taken care of,” said Cole.

It's not just veteran benefits that will be affected. Davis said the shutdown will hit some of social security and the WIC program, leaving many more programs in jeopardy.