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What Happens to Social Security, Other Benefits During Gov’t Shutdown?

What Happens to Social Security, Other Benefits During Gov’t Shutdown?

With a shutdown of the federal government looming as long as a new spending bill doesn’t include funding for President Donald Trump’s border wall, many are left wondering how a shutdown will affect their benefits payments like Social Security.

But not to worry as all essential services like public safety operations and Medicare payments continue on, while a shutdown also has little effect on Social Security checks.

The Social Security Administration has a shutdown contingency plan that notes that most benefits programs continue on.

“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.

Basically, a shutdown affects money that is appropriated annually by Congress and not funding that is sustained long-term. Social Security is paid via a combination of taxes and long-term investments.

Disability claims or appeals of benefits also continue to function unabated. Non-Annual appropriations also continue to give payouts to military and veterans, VA disability payments, Survivor Benefits Plan payments and retiree payments.

The checks continue to be disbursed, though, some Social Security Administration aspects are affected by a shutdown. Government employees are placed on furlough, meaning they are locked out of work and not paid during the shutdown. However, during past shutdowns Congress has passed legislation to give back-pay to employees who lost wages while on furlough.

Earlier in the week, the Trump administration said it wouldn’t shut the government down like Trump said he would the previous week during a contentious Oval Office meeting with top Democrats, and would instead find the money elsewhere.
The Senate unanimously approved a spending bill that would fund the government into February late Wednesday.
On Thursday, Trump flipped back to his original stance that he would indeed shut down the government if the new spending bill didn’t include money for the border wall that was the centerpiece of his campaign.