What you can and cannot do during the government shutdown | News

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What you can and cannot do during the government shutdown

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- While on vacation from Kentucky and Colorado, the extended Martin family learned the government had indeed shut down overnight.

That threw a wrench into their plans for St. Augustine

"We came out to the fort today," Martin explained, "and we got about 15 minutes outside and then realized that it was probably closed today."

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The Castillo de San Marcos and all of the 58 national parks are closed because of the government shutdown.

"It stinks. I mean this is not hard work," Martin added.

He and his family and all other travelers will be able to fly though.

TSA agents will still screen you at the airport and air traffic control towers are operating.

However, if you need a passport, you may want to hurry. The State Department says it will process passport applications as long as it has the funds to do so.

If you're an on-duty member of the military, you still go to work and get paid. However, 50 percent of the 800,000 civilian employees are on furlough.

RELATED: Outdoor activities limited due to shutdown

For veterans, VA hospitals and clinics are still open, but you may not get your education and rehabilitation benefits right away because the Veterans Benefits Administration will be unable to process them.

As for Social Security, the checks will still go out, but a reduced staff means you probably can't get much help replacing benefit cards.

You will still get mail because the U.S. Postal Service is self-funded.

Back at the fort, tourists like the Martin family are left to only take photos from the outside. 

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Martin's 8-year-old niece, Piper, stood by the gate, wistfully looking in.

Her feelings about the fort may sum up many Americans' thoughts about the shutdown.

"It's disappointing," she said as she looked at the closed, locked gates.  


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