Many Florida residents who count on disability benefits or who are applying for Social Security Disability may have heard about the news of a partial government shutdown with concern, even though as it stands, it appears the partial shutdown has passed.
Knowing that these sorts of things tend to repeat themselves in politics, it is important for recipients of and applicants for benefits to be aware that the government’s essential services, which includes the distribution of benefits, will continue even in the face of a shutdown.
One reason for this is that, unlike certain other government programs, disability and Social Security generally do not rely exclusively on annual budget grants from Congress. They are instead set up to operate in the long-term, as they are based on trust funds that get both consistent tax revenue and which yield return off of investments in the economy.
Some people may notice some slight differences in the way Social Security works during a shutdown. Most importantly, many federal employees may be given an involuntary and unpaid furlough, meaning that they can keep their positions but will not get a paycheck, or perform their responsibilities, until the shutdown is over. Obviously, not being at full staff can put additional strain on already backlogged Social Security system.
Still, though, those who need disability benefits to make ends meet can, generally speaking, continue to count on the during a shutdown. Likewise, people who have applied for benefits will continue to have their applications processed, although the process could well be even slower than what one is accustomed to.
Source: AOL, “Here’s what happens to Social Security and disability benefits during a government shutdown,” Bob Bryan, Jan. 20, 2018.