VA Undersecretary: All VHA Employees Will Continue to Work and Be Paid

This memo was provided to by a reader with the VHA. It says that the VHA has sufficient funds and will continue to operate and pay its employees normally in the event of a shutdown.

Editor’s Note: The following email and document was shared with by a reader with the VHA (Veterans Health Administration). We are providing it here to share the information with all of our readers. If you have any information related to the potential shutdown that you think would be of use to other federal employees, please email the information to us and we will post it on our site.


As a federal employee, you are certainly aware of the current discussions in Washington related to the FY 11 federal budget. You may be hearing information about the possibility of a lapse in appropriated funding for some government agencies if an agreement is not reached by midnight tonight (April 8).

Attached is a message from Dr. Petzel, VA’s Undersecretary for Health, describing how we, as VHA employees, are NOT currently impacted by these discussions.  Since October 1, 2010 VHA has had an approved budget under the congressional “advanced appropriation” plan which funded us for FY 10 and FY 11 so we have not been impacted by any of the continuing resolutions this FY.

In accordance with Dr. Petzel’s guidance, all VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System employees should report to work as scheduled and continue to provide or support high quality care for Veterans.

Thank you for all you do for Veterans today and every day!

Referenced Attachment

Date: April 8, 2011
From: Under Secretary for Health
Subject: Federal Government Shutdown
To: All VHA Employees

  1. While we remain hopeful that a government shutdown will not occur, this memorandum provides information about the suspension of certain federal government operations and what it will mean to you.
  2. Although many federal agencies and offices will be affected by the shutdown caused by the absence of a Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 appropriation, I am pleased to inform you that because VHA has an advanced appropriation for FY 2011, virtually all VHA employees are considered to be in an “excepted” status. This means we will continue to provide quality health care services to our Veterans without interruption.
  3. Because the Office of Research and Development (R&D) is funded under a different appropriation, a number of R&D employees do not fall under the “excepted” status, and are considered non-excepted. However, VHA has sufficient prior year funds to support all R&D employees for a period of approximately six weeks.  Should a government shutdown extend beyond a six week period, affected R&D employees will be individually notified by their supervisor of their status.
  4. This means that all VHA employees are expected to report to work and will receive uninterrupted pay and benefits.
  5. Updates and information will be made available to employees throughout the process. A “Frequently Asked Questions” section to address many of your concerns can be found at Additional information may also be obtained at the Office of Personnel Management’s Web site Employees can also contact the VHA Call Center at 1-800-949-0002.
  6. Our primary concern is continuing to provide the quality health care services that our Veterans rely upon VA to delivery every day. You all are vital to the well-being of our Veterans and their families and that is why Secretary Eric Shinseki and I so greatly appreciate your continued commitment to our missing during this challenging time.

Robert A. Petzel, M.D.