5 Ways Millennials Are Getting Screwed By the Shutdown

From furloughs to veteran's benefits, a lot of people are suffering because of the shutdown. Think you're not? Think again. 

1. Goodbye internship!

Remember all of those federal workers that have been furloughed? Many of them have interns and they aren’t allowed to return to work either. 

Interns from the White House, the Smithsonian, and some Congressional offices have  been sent home. While these internships rarely pay, many of them do offer academic credit, raising concerns about whether the shutdown will make interns unable to graduate on time. 

Some internships are based on a specific number of weeks spent on site, or on projects completed. Either way, interns seeking academic credit could suffer severe consequences. And interns from out of state who have taken a semester to work in D.C. are finding their situations particularly dire (and potentially pointless). 

2. Hello, financial aid furlough!

The Department of Education has furloughed 95% of its employees. That means pell grant processing will likely be delayed. The department will not be able to process new grants to institutions during the shutdown. The largest student aid programs will not be affected, however smaller aid programs, like Federal Work-Study and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants will see their entire staff furloughed. Students receiving their financial aid through the Department of Defense could face more severe consequences. The Defense Department will not grant tuition assistance for classes starting on or after October 1.



3. Goodbye, first house!

First time homebuyers are disproportionately likely to depend on Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or Department of Agriculture (USDA)  mortgage insurance to obtain a loan, due in large part to the tightening of the credit market in conventional markets since 2007.

During the shutdown, FHA single-family lending program is suffering delays and the USDA’s program has been entirely shutdown. If homebuyers can’t finalize loans and mortgages they will be unable proceed with purchasing properties. 

4. Goodbye, college sexual assault investigations!

The U.S. Department of Education’s Department of Civil Rights has been forced to suspend its investigation into colleges and universities that may have violated Title IX in their handling of sexual violence on campus. Investigations were launched at multiple prominent schools including UNC - Chapel, UC Boulder, Swathmore, USC, and Dartmouth. Follow-up reviews on Title IX violations also cannot be conducted, such as the site visits to follow up on past violators like Yale.


5. Goodbye, safety net!

If you are a low-income American, you may lose access to social safety net support systems.

The government has stopped funding the special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children known as WIC. More than 8.9 million moms and their children under 5 rely on WIC’s vouchers for a range of things including breastfeeding support, infant formula and access to healthy food.

WIC’s contingency fund was only expected to last approximately one week. Without emergency funding from the the Department of Agriculture, 65,000 people in Utah alone would lose WIC assistance.

While SNAP (otherwise known as food stamps) benefits will still be paid out, SNAP job training programs will likely halt.  This means that food stamp recipients who live in states that require them to either be in a job training program or to be employed while on SNAP may lose their benefits.

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Carly Pildis

Carly Pildis is a Political Organizer who has spent her career fighting for social/economic justice and equality. She has worked on a variety of issue campaigns and recently finished work on the Obama campaign. When she isn't working, she enjoys wandering her neighborhood farmer's market, watching Boston based sports teams, and being active in her synagogue. All opinions are my own and do not reflect on any employer past or present.

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