Sumner widow struggles in shutdown - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Sumner widow struggles in shutdown

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Joan Bishop just lost her husband, Lou, a few weeks ago, after 30 years of marriage.

She said they always took care of each other, even when times were tough, even when she had a stroke in May.

"He said every breath he takes is for me," she said of her husband. "He meant it, so I'm lucky."

And now, while dealing with the loss of her husband, it's getting even harder for Joan.

Lou worked to support them his whole life, and now, Joan is entitled to his social security benefits -- but she can't get their benefits transferred to her, since the office that processes them is closed by the shutdown.

Until the government comes back online, she has no way to support herself.

But that's not the only obstacle she's facing. Their home was bought with a Department of Agriculture Rural Development loan. Now that she's on her own, she can't afford the payments, which she said are based on income.

She filed to reduce them last Monday, just hours before the shutdown. Still, she sent the check this month. Despite the shutdown, it was cashed.

"But yet, I can't do business with them, but I can pay them and they'll take your money," Bishop said.

Now, Bishop has been forced to put her house up for sale. She might be able to move into an elderly care facility, except the applications for that are stalled by the shutdown as well.

She said her trust has been violated, and she wants the government to know that.

"Because they have no idea how many people they're affecting," she said.

Because after paying into the system for so many years, she just wants to get what's hers.

She said that's how Lou, the man who took care of her for so many years, would have wanted it.

"Lou was love," she said. "Lou was love."

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