On January 20th, the federal government of the United States shut down. Members of Congress were unwilling to strike a deal on many key issues, which forced a shutdown. Many of you may have been worried that your Social Security disability benefits may have been jeopardized by the government shutdown, but the Social Security Administration (SSA) had a plan in place.
How Does a Government Shutdown Affect Your Social Security Disability Benefits?
When the government shuts down, there is a wide range of effects on Americans. A large number of federal employees are placed on furlough—meaning they cannot work or be paid. This forces many federal services and offices to shutdown while members of Congress try to come to an agreement to fund the country. And though national parks, memorials, and some government offices shutdown, core benefits and services are maintained to prevent Americans in need from suffering undue distress. Social Security is one such core program.
Before the government shutdown in January, the SSA released a contingency plan for the event. The SSA released their plan in December, and it outlined which programs would continue to function through a government shutdown and which ones would not. Among the programs that shutdown were benefit verification and the issuing of Social Security cards. But functions like disability claims or benefit appeals continued, meaning no one should have suffered a pause in their benefits.
Some offices and Social Security employees may not have been available during the shutdown, but the benefits you rely on should have continued as normal. Officials soon crafted a temporary deal that lasted until February, when another brief shutdown unfolded. Once again, Congress worked out another budget deal, but this difficulty does illustrate that another shutdown could easily happen. Luckily, the SSA seems ready for this possibility, and have plans in place to make sure you don’t suffer when politicians disagree.
This news update was brought to you by the Tulsa disability attorneys at Troutman & Troutman, P.C.—helping Oklahomans with disabilities get the benefits they need.