(UPDATE) A deal was reached on Thursday to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling. It should be noted that the deal will only fund the government through January 15, 2014, and raise the debt ceiling until February 7, 2014. Many political experts say that a similar fight may play out next year, with the information in this post still relevant.
Last week, ABC News reported that Social Security benefits for millions of Americans could be in danger if legislators do not increase the nation’s debt ceiling.
As we are writing this report, the government is currently under a shutdown, which is not affecting Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. However, if Congress does not reach a resolution soon when it comes to the debt ceiling, benefits may be at risk.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) released a short statement last week in response to a flood of questions about payments. “Unlike a federal shutdown which has no impact on the payment of Social Security benefits, failure to raise the debt ceiling puts Social Security benefits at risk,” a Social Security representative told ABC News.
According to ABC News, neither the SSA nor the Treasury Department would elaborate on how payments would be affected. Most news outlets are reporting that the debt ceiling needs to be increased by $1 trillion or more by October 17 in order to prevent default.
As of last week, Democrats and Republicans were negotiating over short-term spending options and a debt ceiling increase, but President Barack Obama said he was waiting for Republicans to pass legislation to re-open the government and raise the debt ceiling without conditions. “We’re not going to negotiate under the threat of further harm to our economy,” Obama said.
We will keep you posted on any ongoing news when it comes to the debt ceiling and the SSA. It is our hope that the nation’s lawmakers will be able to set aside differences and work on a resolution. If you are eligible for SSDI benefits, we suggest contacting a Tulsa Social Security Disability attorney. We offer free evaluations of your case, and you may reach us by phone at (918) 265-1404.
Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security Disability lawyers