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Will a Government Shutdown Affect your Social Security Disability Payments?

| Sep 30, 2013

If the United States government shuts down October 1st, many federal payments could be delayed. However, it is likely that over 57 million Social Security beneficiaries will still be paid on time, as the Social Security Administration will have enough people on staff to process social security disability benefits without delay.



Social Security funding is considered "mandatory" and automatically authorized by the federal government, and therefore does not depend on a federal spending decision made by Congress. However, money that goes to Social Security Administration employees, who are paid to process Social Security claims and benefits, may be affected by congressional decisions. Despite the potential disruption to SSA employees, it is believed the government-funded organization will be sufficiently staffed to ensure SSD payments won't be delayed.



During government shutdowns in the 1990s, Social Security payments were sent out right on schedule, despite the Social Security Administration being understaffed with less than 5,000 employees. By the second government shut down, the SSA required most of its employees to keep coming to work. Today, most Social Security benefits are paid through direct deposit or debit card. This makes depositing payments less labor intensive than it used to be, when paper checks were mailed out to beneficiaries.



While Social Security payments should go out on time, it is not clear whether or not the SSA will retain enough staff to process new applications for Social Security benefits without delay in the event of a government shutdown. Even though a brief shutdown may not affect Social Security beneficiaries, the government's decision on federal spending certainly could. Charles Konigsberg, assistant director of the White House budget office during the last government shutdown, believes the biggest risk to Social Security payments is failing to raise the debt ceiling, resulting in an ultimate shortage of funds.



For more information regarding Social Security Disability and how to get the benefits you need, talk to the experienced legal team at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers. We are available 24/7 to offer a free consultation and discuss your rights and options. Our offices are located in Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, Orangeburg, Walterboro, and Moncks Corner, but we can meet you anywhere in the state of South Carolina to help you with your claim.

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