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Social Security Update: Effects Of The Government Shutdown On Payments & Services

The approval of spending legislation before an approaching deadline on 30th September at a time when the government would run out of money is at the top of the House of Representatives agenda as it returns to work today following the August recess. Before they support any budget agreement, a strong Republican party demands that Kevin McCarthy, the House Speaker launch impeachment proceedings against President Joe Biden. This faction wants significant spending reductions.

Activities Of National Agencies Will Stop

McCarthy may need to compromise with the opposition to pass the funding measures because Republicans have a tenuous majority over the Democrats in the House. This action could further alienate McCarthy’s supporters. Time is running short, and no agreement appears to be in the cards. The government would shut down and the activities of the national agencies would stop if the impasse was not resolved by the end of the month.

As per the Social Security Administration, around 67 million Americans can expect a monthly Social Security benefit this year, resulting in approximately $1.4 trillion in benefits distributed in 2023. For these Americans, especially those who are 65 or older and receive the benefit in 90% of cases, the benefits are a vital lifeline. For this group of people, Social Security payments make up approximately a third of their earnings and are essential to their way of life. According to the Committee for a Responsible Government Budget, Social Security benefits will still be paid out if government offices close at midnight on September 30. The Social Security Act, the enabling law, mandates that the agency pay eligible Americans, hence the payments are seen as obligatory.

Social Security Cards

On his website, Democratic congressman Dan Kildee from Michigan’s 8th district verifies. “Recipients will persist to get their Social Security as well as Supplemental Security Income benefits during a government shutdown,” Kildee said. The issuing of fresh Social Security cards may be halted during a shutdown, which may have an impact on thousands of Americans. About 60,000 Americans register for Social Security cards every day, which they may require to start a job, open a bank account, obtain a loan, or carry out other financial operations. Cards for Social Security are not produced when the government is shut down, writes Rep. Kildee.

In a contingency plan provided to the director of the Office of Management & Budget, Shalanda Young, the Social Security Administration states that one service it will continue to provide to Americans in the event of a shutdown is the “issuance of original and replacement Social Security cards.” In the event of a shutdown, the agency stated that around 53,000 workers would be retained while a little above 8,500 workers would be furloughed.

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