Federal Government Shutdown Impacts Question And Answers
What happens with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families if there is a federal government shutdown?If you receive TANF cash assistance, no impacts to your benefits are anticipated if a federal government shutdown occurs.
How will this affect my food benefits?If you receive food benefits such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Food Assistance Program for legal immigrants, Transitional Food Assistance, Washington Combined Application Program or Working Family Support and there is a government shutdown, you will no longer be able to apply for or receive food benefits.
What happens with Employment and Training programs?If you are participating in Workforce training programs funded through Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, no impacts to your services are anticipated unless there is an extended shutdown.
What happens with disability benefits?The Disability Determination Services is contracted through the Social Security Administration to adjudicate medical eligibility for disability benefits under Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income rules and regulations. Currently, no impacts to SSDI or SSI benefits are anticipated if a federal government shutdown occurs.
Connect with DSHS
What Does The Government Shutdown Mean For Ssi & Ssdi
As previously stated, existing Supplemental Security Income payments, Social Security disability benefits, and retirement benefit payments are usually not affected when the government shuts down. Similarly, if you have a hearing already scheduled with an administrative law judge, that hearing will likely take place as scheduled. However, support personnel are often placed on furlough, so that means that your hearing office will be low on staff. Hearings will be limited to the claimant, judge, vocational expert, security staff, and very essential personnel.
Since the support staff may not be working, the final decision on your hearing will probably not get written until the shutdown is over. So, if you are approved for benefits, the start of your payments will probably be delayed until the support personnel return.
If you are getting read to apply for benefits, you can expect that your application will be delayed. The length of the delay depends on which state you live in. Since applications are initially reviewed and the initial disability determination is made by the local field offices, states usually decide whether to continue these operations. They will often work with SSA based on how many employees the SSA decides to keep at work during the shutdown.
What About Disability Pay Gi Bill Benefits And Sgli Payments
Like military retiree pay, Veterans Affairs disability payments and GI Bill payments are funded with different legislation that is not a part of the current budget battle. Those who receive disability or GI bill payments will continue receiving those payments without interruption.Servicemembers Group Life Insurance payments will not be affected, either.
Also Check: How To Change Va Disability Direct Deposit
Don’t Miss: What Is 100 Disability
You Can Help Clients Who Face Barriers To Service
During much of the pandemic, our offices have been open only for in-person appointments for limited, critical situations, depending upon local office conditions. These measures have helped to protect the health and safety of our employees and the public.
Throughout, we have continued to offer many services on our website that are secure and easy to use. Additionally, our representatives continue to help people by telephone when they call our National 800 Number and local offices.
We recognize that many underserved people face barriers to service when they are unable to access or use the internet or telephones to get the help they need. Therefore, were asking for your help.
If you know someone who cannot use our online services at , please encourage them to call and speak to a Social Security representative. They can call their local Social Security office or our for assistance. If we cannot help them by phone, we can determine if an in-person appointment or other option may be available.
How Many Times Has The Us Government Shut Down
Since the modern budget process was put in place by Congress in 1976, there have been 20 “funding gaps,” however the level of “shutdown” has varied widely in each case. And up until 1980, the government continued normal operations through six of those gaps.
Since 1981, CRFB notes there has only been four shutdowns where federal government operations were impacted for more than one business day. There have been 10 gaps of three days or fewer, which occurred mostly over a weekend.
Read Also: State Disability Georgia
What Can You Do About A Government Shutdown
At Disability Experts of Florida, we understand how important SSDI and SSI are to people, and we hope this has put some of your concerns to rest. Of course, we also hope a resolution is reached and America can get back to work again! If youre concerned about this shutdown or future shutdowns, one of the best things you can do is to reach out to your Senators and Representatives and remind them how a government shutdown affects their constituents. Advocacy groups can help organize hundreds or even thousands of members to increase their collective impact. Reach out and make your voice heard!
Fortunately Social Security Medicaid And Medicare Payments Will Not Be Interrupted By The Partial Shutdown
Unlike previous shutdowns, Social Security Administration employees will continue to work and offices will remain open. Though there are many problems being caused by the shutdown, essential services such as public safety operations and Medicare remain up and running. Additionally, all three programs are considered mandatory spending and are therefore not affected by the federal budget debate over the wall. However, new applicants should be aware that they may experience delays in processing.
At Keller & Keller, our clients always come first. If you are a current client and have concerns about your benefits, please do not hesitate to reach out. If you are seeking Social Security Disability benefits, call us today for a free consultation.
Recommended Reading: How To Calculate Disability Retirement Pay
Recommended Reading: Sc 100 Disabled Veterans Benefits
Retiree Pay And Sbp Payments
Military retirees were to still receive their regular pension checks in the event of a shutdown in Jan. 2018, as were those receiving a Survivor’s Benefit Plan payment.
That’s because those funds were paid from a different account that was not impacted by the annual funding bill Congress had yet to pass.
Which Social Security Disability Services Are Open During The Government Shutdown
During the 2018-19 government shutdown, you should still be able to:
- Apply for Social Security Disability benefits
- Appeal a denial of benefits
- Attend your hearing with a Social Security administrative law judge
- Continue receiving benefits you’ve already been awarded
Past government shutdowns caused more disruption for Social Security Disability applicants.
In 2013, for example, people already receiving benefits continued to get their checks, but a shutdown delayed new applications. People could still attend their disability hearings when the hearings were previously scheduled, but the shutdown slowed decisions from hearings and the scheduling of new hearings.
So far, those aren’t problems with this shutdown. As the shutdown goes on, we’ll keep a close watch in case anything changes. For example, it could affect federal courts, which could cause delays for people who need to file disability appeals there.
Don’t let news of the shutdown cause you to hold off on applying for benefits that you need, or appealing a denial.
You May Like: Axis 5 Gaf Score
What Debt Ceiling Woes Could Mean For Social Security Benefits
- Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen suggested this week that Social Security benefits will be impacted if Congress doesn’t raise or suspend the debt ceiling.
- The program’s funds that it uses to pay benefits will likely not face long-term consequences from any political gridlock on Capitol Hill.
- However, there is the possibility that monthly checks could be delayed.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen made headlines this week with an op-ed suggesting government checks could run dry if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling.
“Nearly 50 million seniors could stop receiving Social Security checks for a time,”Yellen wrote.
The House of Representatives has passed a bill to temporarily fund the government and suspend the debt limit. However, that legislation could fail in the Senate. If lawmakers cannot come to an agreement, the government would shut down on Oct. 1.
Social Security beneficiaries may breathe a sigh of relief to know that the program’s funds will still be there to pay their checks, regardless of what happens with the debt ceiling negotiations, according to Nancy Altman, president of Social Security Works, an advocacy group focused on expanding benefits.
However, there is the possibility that a government shutdown could delay how fast that money reaches people.
National Parks Museums And Zoos
Most National Parks are closed. Some have remained open because states have offered funding. However, the National Park Service has cautioned that access may change without notice during a government shutdown.
The shutdown has also closed all 19 Smithsonian Museums, the National Gallery of Art and the National Zoo. The zoo animals are still being caredfor by essential personnel.
Also Check: 504 Plan For Peanut Allergy
Troops Killed In Action
During the Jan. 2018 shutdown, newly bereaved family members were not to receive the Pentagon’s $100,000 death gratuity during a shutdown or military-funded travel to Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, or elsewhere for the dignified transfer or military funeral or memorial.
Servicemembers Group Life Insurance payments, however, were not to be affected.
What Is A Government Shutdown
The federal government is run based on a budget that provides money and funding to all federal agencies, departments and programs.
Every year, Congress must pass legislation stating how the governments money should be divided up between the programs. If Congress fails to pass a bill outlining how the federal governments money should be spent, or if the President does not sign the bill passed by Congress, the government will shut down on the date that the previously approved funding is set to expire. In 2018, that date was Jan. 19 at midnight.
Once this happens, all nonessential services and functions of the federal government must close until lawmakers can agree on a budget.
However, this does not mean all federal government operations shut down. Certain programs are considered essential, such as the military, public safety operations and Medicare payments.
Don’t Miss: Getting 100 Percent Disability Va
Retirement And Disability Pay In A Government Shutdown
Updated 4 October 2013: Please see additional information at Military Pay Not Safe Forever
Obviously, it’s not just currently serving military folks who are concerned about the possibility of a government shutdown. Thousands of others receive monthly payments as the result of their military service, or the military service of a spouse or parent. Will these payments be affected if the government is shut down?
Unfortunately, there are two parts to every answer because our country is facing two separate crises: The budget and the debt ceiling. The two issues have different effects on everything. The short answer is: it depends on why the government has shut down.
Retirement Pay and SBP Payments
In short, the October payments expected on 1 October 2013 will not be affected. It is possible that the 1 November 2013 payments could be affected if the government hits the debt ceiling and does not come to an agreement about how to proceed.
Veterans Affairs Payments
Well, well… the Department of Veterans Affairs has changed its tune just a little bit. The VA is now saying that if a government shutdown lasts more than a few weeks, it will run out of money to continue its payments for disability, Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, GI Bill and Dependent Educational Assistance payments. And this is before we even get to potential debt ceiling issues.
Social Security Benefits Increase In 2022
Approximately 70 million Americans will see a 5.9% increase in their Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income payments in 2022. Federal benefit rates increase when the cost-of-living rises, as measured by the Department of Labors Consumer Price Index .
The CPI-W rises when inflation increases, leading to a higher cost-of-living. This change means prices for goods and services, on average, are more expensive, so the cost-of-living adjustment helps to offset these costs.
We will mail COLA notices throughout the month of December to retirement, survivors, and disability beneficiaries, SSI recipients, and representative payees. If you have clients who would like to know their new benefit amount sooner, they can securely obtain their Social Security COLA notices online using the Message Center at . They can access this information in early December prior to the mailed notice.
If your clients prefer to access their COLA notices online, they can opt out of a mailed COLA notice. They can do this with their personal mySocial Security account. By updating their Preferences in the Message Center, they can opt out of any other notices that are available online. They can also receive a text or email alert when there is a new message waiting for them. A person must have created their account by November 17, 2021 to receive the 2022 COLA notice online. Your clients can find more information about the 2022 COLA at www.ssa.gov/cola.
Advantage Overpayments Debt Relief And Financial Assistance
Veterans who are repaying excessive charges of veterans advantages and need impermanent monetary help during a vacation period or at different occasions should contact VAs Debt Management Center at 1-800-827-0648.
The middle might be approved to suspend assortment movement for you, however, this isnt programmed and should be mentioned.
What About Veterans’ Benefits
During a federal government shutdown, military retirees and Survivor Benefit Plan recipients receive their pension checks with no interruption. Thats because the funds for the pension checks are not linked to the current disputed federal budget.Former Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin explains, The VA is in a fortunate situation so we get our money a year ahead of time because I think Congress understands that the VA cant shut down, that we are there for the safety of our veterans.The current Veterans Affairs Secretary, Robert Wilkie, released a statement affirming that the VA is fully funded for fiscal year 2019, and in the event of a partial government shutdown, all VA operations will continue unimpeded.
Recommended Reading: Va Disability Compensation Process
Food Stamps & Usda Operations
Approximately 40 million Americans rely on food stamps to feed their families. Food stamps will be paid in January. However, if the shutdown continues, Februarys payments will be less than usual and there wont be any payments made in March.
On January 4th, NBC News reported:
If the $1.8 billion shortfall for February benefits were spread evenly across the 19 million households that receive SNAP benefits, each would see a cut of about $90 per month for their overall grocery budget, according to Dottie Rosenbaum, a senior fellow at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities .
If the political standoff that began Dec. 22 continued into March, these households would receive no money to buy food.
However, a few days later, the USDA announced that food stamps payouts for February would be complete. If the shutdown continues into March, though, there may be issues.
On January 8, Politico reported:
The can use an obscure provision in the last spending bill, a continuing resolution that expired on Dec. 21. The provision allows USDA to make payments that it is already obligated to make within 30 days of the expiration of the law, USDA officials said.
If the shutdown continues into March and April, Washington Post has this warning:
The USDA has not said what it would do in the event the shutdown lasts that long. When the SNAP contingency money runs out in April, the food assistance program will probably be closed altogether, anti-poverty advocates said.
What Happens To My Scheduled Social Security Disability Hearing In A Government Shutdown
Most likely hearing officers will continue to hold social security disability and SSI hearings if a shutdown occurs. During the 2013 government, the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review still held previously scheduled hearings, but staffing was limited to administrative law judges, medical experts, vocational experts, and security personnel. New hearings were not scheduled. Lack of support personnel caused delays in exhibiting files and decisions were not written during the shutdown. So, if a claimant was waiting for an already scheduled hearing, it in most cases proceeded and was decided. But, the writing of the decision did not take place so if benefits were granted there was a further delay before benefits were paid since the decisions was not actually formally written until the shutdown ended.
Read Also: How To Calculate Disability Retirement Pay
Also Check: Axis V Gaf Scale 0-100
The Ssa Should Not Be Affected By The Government Shutdown
We are sure you have read or heard by now about the government partial shut down on Friday, December 21, 2018. According to the Social Security Administrations most recent shutdown contingency plan, most core programs and functions as well as payments to recipients of benefits will continue in the event of a shutdown.
The reason this shut down is different is because the SSA received its Fiscal Year 2019 funding in September 2018. Thus, any potential shutdown will only minimally affect the SSA. Hearings will be conducted as scheduled, and all district and hearing offices will be open as customary, even if there is a government shutdown on Friday, December 21, 2018.
If Congress Doesn’t Raise The Debt Limit
The issue surrounding the federal debt limit is separate from the annual spending bill fights that can lead to government shutdowns. The federal debt, reported to be at about $28.4 trillion in September 2021, is the amount of money that the government owes for spending on payments such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, military salaries, veterans’ benefits, public education, and tax credits. The government has spent up to its limit, so it has to stop spending money immediatelyunless Congress raises the limit. In fact, Congress raises the debt ceiling every couple of years and the U.S. has never defaulted on its debt payments.
If Congress does allow the U.S. to default, the government won’t be able to pay its employees or veterans or continue paying for services like food stamps and the child tax credit. The stock market and the unemployment rate are also expected to suffer.
While the government should still be able to pay out Social Security benefits, since the money comes from current employees’ payroll taxes and the Social Security Trust Fund, payments could be delayed. And no one is sure what will happen with SSI payments, which are paid out of the general fund, if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling. While Congress would no doubt prioritize making SSI payments, no one can anticipate what will happen if the crisis goes on long enough.
Read Also: De 2525xx Forms