Here's what happens to Social Security and disability benefits during a government shutdown

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  • The federal government is in the record-shattering 32nd day of a partial government shutdown.
  • Social Security and disability checks will still go out for the duration of the shutdown.
  • In contrast to previous shutdowns, no Social Security Administration employees will be placed on furlough and all services will remain open.

The federal government is now in the 32nd day of a partial federal shutdown, as President Donald Trump and congressional leaders have still not been able to come to a deal to reopen the government.

While parts of the government are still funded, nine of the 15 federal agencies are affected by the shutdown and problems are beginning to pile up. Roughly 800,000 federal employees are also going without pay during the shutdown.

But while the problems caused by the shutdown are significant, essential services, such as public safety operations and Medicare payments have continued.

Additionally, the shutdown should have little effect on Social Security checks. According to the Social Security Administration’s shutdown contingency plan, most core programs and benefits would continue in the event of a shutdown.

“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 says.

A shutdown only affects funds annually appropriated by Congress, not funding that is sustained long-term. The Social Security trust fund is paid for through a combination of taxes and long-term investments.

Other core functions like disability claims or appeals over benefits would continue to function.


Read more:
The effects of the shutdown are only going to get exponentially worse as the fight drags onĀ»

For the military and veterans, VA disability payments, Survivor Benefits Plan payments, and retiree payments would all be made because those funds also come from non-annual appropriations. Additionally, the VA was included in the departments that were funded in September, so no services offered by the agency are affected.

While previous shutdowns have led to the furlough of Social Security employees and some services, a full-year funding agreement for the Social Security Administration was reached in September so the agency is not affected this time around.

Trump has demanded that any funding bill to reopen the government must include money for a border wall, a request Democrats have refused. Originally Trump supported a plan to pass a temporary funding extension with no wall money, but the president changed his mind at the last minute which forced the government into the shutdown.

The shutdown is now the longest in the modern budgeting era.

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