Civil legal services lawyers in the District of Columbia say that nearly two weeks in to the government shutdown, their low-income clients are hurting, from furloughed workers living paycheck-to-paycheck to retirees who can't get help from shuttered federal agencies.
The day before the shutdown began on October 1, Legal Counsel for the Elderly attorney Daniela de la Piedra had a client who hadn't gotten his September social security benefits check. When de la Piedra called the agency responsible for certifying the check, she was told they could no longer help because they were preparing for the shutdown.
The client needed the money to pay his mortgage and buy food, de la Piedra said. He later received his benefits check for October, she said, but at the time, "it was very disheartening-I was completely helpless."