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 government’s money should be divided up between the programs. If Congress fails to pass a bill outlining how the federal government’s 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.
Social Security Supports Small Businesses
The COVID-19 pandemic has been testing small businesses. Running a small business can be a 24-7 endeavor. Managing employees, inventory, scheduling, services, and marketing can be challenging even in normal times.
If you have clients who run a small business, or work for one, our online suite of services can help make their lives easier. Our business services allow them to file W-2/W-2Cs online and verify employees names and Social Security numbers against our records.
Our online services at will save your clients valuable time when they need information on filing electronic W-2s and verifying Social Security numbers.
Small business owners can also take advantage of our Business Services Online at . Your clients must register to use this free service, which also offers fast and secure online W-2 filing options to Certified Public Accountants, enrolled agents, and individuals who process W-2s and W-2Cs.
For more information about electronic wage reporting, encourage your clients to read our publication at .
The Effect Of A Possible Government Shutdown
The federal government’s fiscal calendar runs from October 1 to September 30 each year. For the government to continue to operate past September 30 each year, Congress must pass “appropriations” bills. The spending bills provide the money to each government department to pay their employees and for the services they provide.
It’s not uncommon for Congress to fail to pass its annual spending bills on time to provide funding for the next year. When that happens, Congress will generally pass what’s called “continuing resolutions,” which allow the government to continue to spend at the same level as the previous yearfor either a few weeks or a few months, while Congress continues to work on the new spending bills.
The Social Security Administration is in a different position than other parts of the federal government, because Social Security spending is considered “mandatory” and Social Security doesn’t rely on an annual appropriations bill for its funding. What this means is that Social Security benefits, and the processing of applications for Social Security benefits, will continue even in the event of a government shutdown.
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The Debt Limit Has Been Reached As A Result The Government Could Shut Down On Oct1 Causing Nearly 50 Million Seniors To Struggle To Receive Ss Payments
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen shocked thousands of Americans earlier this week when suggesting the government could pull back from issuing social security checks if Congress doesnt increase the debt ceiling.
Nearly 50 million seniors could stop receiving Social Security checks for a time, Yellen wrote.
Will Social Security Process My Application During A Government Shutdown
It depends. Because Social Security will likely be short-staffed during a shutdown, there may be a delay in processing new applications. During the government shutdown during the 1990s, new applications werent processed at first. However, as the shutdown continued, Social Security decided to start processing applications again.
Social Security applied the lessons it learned during the 1990s shutdown to the 2013 shutdown. They planned to continue processing new applications from the beginning as well as requests for reconsideration. However, its actually the Disability Determination Bureau that evaluates new applications and requests for reconsideration, and the DDB is a state-run part of the federal Social Security agency. That means that whether or not applications and appeals will be processed may be left up to the states.
Most likely, the DDB will continue to process applications and appeals, but your decision may be delayed if the shutdown continues for more than a few days.
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How Would A Government Shutdown Affect My Social Security Disability Benefits/claim
How would a government shutdown affect my Social Security disability benefits/claim?
The answer is, unfortunately, it depends.
If you are currently receiving SSA disability, survivors or retirement payment, the shutdown will not affect you.
If you are looking to file a new claim for disability, you will still be able to apply for benefits but there may be an increased delay in you receiving a decision.
If you currently have a disability claim pending with Social Security and are not yet receiving benefits then you may be impacted by a government shutdown. If you have a claim pending at the Initial Application or Request for Reconsideration level, it is being evaluated by Disability Determination Services which is a state, rather than a federal agency. As a result, Social Security cannot guarantee or predict whether these DDS agencies will continue to operate in the event of a shutdown. Each state will determine whether it can maintain DDS operations.
If you have a disability claim pending at the Request for Hearing level then whether a shutdown will impact you will depend on whether you already have a scheduled hearing date. Offices of Disability and Adjudicative Review will continue to hear and decide cases, but will stop scheduling hearings. This means the waiting time for a hearing will be lengthened.
State Disability Determination Services
Office of Disability Adjudication and Review
Benefit Overpayments Debt Relief And Financial Assistance
Veterans who are paying back overpayments of veterans benefits and need temporary financial relief during a furlough period or at other times should contact VAs Debt Management Center at 1-800-827-0648.
The center may be authorized to suspend collection activity on your account, but this is not automatic and must be requested.
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Will Government Shutdown Affect Social Security Disability Checks Medicaid Medicare Payments
As Congress and President Donald Trump teeter on the brink of a shutdown over border wall funding, millions of Americans worry about what a partial closure of the federal government could mean for the Social Security checks and the Medicare and Medicaid they rely on, especially during the holiday season.
The good news is that Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare payments won’t be interrupted by the partial shutdown. All three programs are considered mandatory spending and are not affected by a federal budget debate. New applicants to the programs, however, may experience delays in processing. The U.S. Postal Service will also remain funded, so checks should arrive in the mail on time.
The Social Security Administration issued a shutdown contingency plan this month, outlining how it would remain in operation as some federal workers get furloughed and other programs shut down.
“Funding for the programs under Titles II, XVI, and XVIII of the Social Security Act will continue, even in the event of a lapse in appropriations,” the plan said.
Some nonessential employees of the Social Security Administration will be furloughed, so expect longer lines than usual at local offices or longer hold times on the phone. Additionally, benefit verification and the issuing of new Social Security cards will temporarily halt.
President Donald Trump warned on Friday afternoon that his shutdown could “last a very long time.”
Help From An Indiana Social Security Disability Lawyer
Even if the government shuts down tonight, Hensley Legal Group wont. Our disability attorneys, case managers, legal assistants, and intake specialists will be hard at work filing disability claims on behalf of Hoosiers. Well continue to request reconsiderations and request hearings if our clients applications or appeals are denied, and well continue building solid cases in anticipation of our clients scheduled hearings.
If you have any questions about how a government shutdown may affect your claim, or if youre interested in filing an application or receiving representation for a hearing, Hensley Legal Group can help. Call us today or contact us online for a free consultation.
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Commissaries Exchanges And Mwr
In Jan. 2018 Military exchanges were to remain open during a shutdown thanks to the way they are funded.
Stateside commissaries, however, were to close by three days after the shutdown started, officials said, while those outside the U.S. and in some rural locations were to remain open since they are considered essential. Those included two stores in Guam, a store in Puerto Rico, and commissaries at Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center Bridgeport and Fort Irwin in California Coast Guard Station Kodiak and Fort Greely in Alaska and Dugway Proving Ground, Utah.
MWR activities were to temporarily shutter on a case-by-case basis due to how those services are funded.
What About The Expected Pay Hike
The 2.6 percent 2019 military pay raise is guaranteed except for those with 4-star or higher ranks. Top military paygrades may not exceed the highest federal government civilian pay rate, and that rate has not been set due to the stalemate over the federal budget.All active U.S. military operations will continue, and most active duty personnel will notice no change. However, the families of any service members who are killed in action during a government shutdown wont receive the $100,000 death gratuity until the government re-opens.What the Defense Department cannot do without the passage of a federal budget is to spend on new programs or initiate any new spending whatsoever. If the shutdown resumes on February 15th, the U.S. will not be buying any tanks, planes, or ships until there is a budget agreement.
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Retired & Survivor Benefit Plan Pay
Military Retirees and Survivor Benefit Plan recipients would, during a shutdown, still receive their pension checks as the funding for these benefits is NOT tied to Congresss funding bill. After previous shutdowns, Veteran Affairs lobbied Congress to fund the VA on a two-year budget cycle which exempts the department.
The VA is in a fortunate situation in that we have whats called an advanced appropriations 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. said former VA Secretary David Shulkin.
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.
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Va Advice To Those Struggling Financially During A Government Shutdown
The Department of Veterans Affairs urges veterans and family members to continue using VA services and treatment while any federal budget crisis is being addressed.
There are other steps the VA suggests struggling veterans and families take, including reaching out to credit unions and military-friendly banks to see what stopgap measures might be available, avoid loan defaults and limit damages to long-term financial plans while addressing short-term needs.
Why Federal Employees Furloughed Or Working Without Pay Cant Just Get Part
It is not always possible for federal employees to find and work part-time jobs during shutdowns.
During the Jan. 2018 shutdown, which lasted three days , the VA pointed out that:
Even while on furlough, an individual is an employee of the Federal government. Therefore, the Executive Branch-wide standards of ethical conduct . . . which include rules on outside employment, continue to apply to employees on furloughs. Additionally, there are statutes which prohibit certain outside activities.
Its clear that the simplest solution for getting through difficult circumstances during furloughs isnt as easy as locating another source of income.
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Ss Cards Will Stop Being Issued
Despite the payments remaining unaffected in the event of a shutdown, social security cards would abruptly stop being issued after Sept.30, meaning people could struggle when dealing with any entity that requires the card when doing financial transactions.
Roughly 60,000 American citizens apply for Social Security cards every day, according to Congressman Dan Kildee. Those SS cards are required for most of the financial transactions we do on a daily basis, such as opening a bank account, asking for loans, or starting a new job.
U.S. dollar banknotes are seen in this photo illustration taken February 12, 2018.JOSE LUIS GONZALEZ
Need A Standardized Benefit Verification Letter Get It Online
If your clients need a Benefit Verification letter, sometimes called a proof of income letter, we have good news! Their Benefit Verification letter is available online when they need proof of Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security Income, or Medicare.
In addition to a clients name, date of birth, and the benefits received, their Benefit Verification letter includes other identifiers to prevent misuse and fraud. This is an added benefit for clients as proof of income for loans, housing assistance, mortgage, and other verification purposes.
The same letter is also available if your clients need proof that they dont receive benefits, or proof that benefits are pending. If your clients have an individual representative payee, they can use the mySocial Security Representative Payee portal to access the Benefit Verification letter online for their beneficiaries.
Your clients can get their Benefit Verification letter anytime using their personal mySocial Security account. Your clients can use any device to quickly and efficiently access their Benefit Verification letter. Encourage your clients to request it today at .
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Why Were We Facing Another Shutdown
The longest government shutdown in history, which lasted for 35 days, occurred between 2018 and 2019. It began when Trump demanded funding for a $5.7 billion wall between the U.S. and Mexico and refused to sign a government funding bill that didnt include it. An estimated 800,000 federal workers and 1.2 million contractors went without pay during that period, which happened to be over the holidayswith some workers so negatively impacted that they filed for unemployment benefits.
Current federal funding got caught in the middle of a political showdown in Congressand lawmakers cut it close with passing a continuing resolution. But it happened.
In total, about 60% of the 2.1 million federal civilian employees would have been out of work without pay if lawmakers didnt come up with a new funding agreement.
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.
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How The Va Helps Veterans During A Government Shutdown
VA benefits remain available during a government shutdown, but peak processing times for certain benefits can coincide with federal budget troubles in Washington, D.C. In addition, other benefits may be directly affected by a furloughed veterans ability to make payments on VA home loans, etc.
There are areas where VA resources can be used to offset hardships brought on by furloughs and suspension of pay.
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.
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Will The Federal Government Shut Down Again
What is unclear is what role the federal courts will play if the Trump administration declares a national emergency and moves forward with the border wall project.Should the president declare a national emergency, that action would almost certainly trigger an injunction from a federal court that would halt the Trump administration and complicate everything including the government shutdown.For the 35 days that the government was shut down December 22th, 2018 through January 25th, 2019 over 400,000 federal employees continued working without receiving paychecks.The Department of Veterans Affairs Contingency Plan for a government shutdown requires almost all Veterans Affairs employees about 95 percent to report to work. Veterans Affairs medical facilities are to remain open and to maintain their normal operations and procedures.