Published on:

How A Federal Government Shutdown Will Affect Social Security Disability Program

As you have probably heard by now, we are left waiting to see if we see another government shutdown, as we saw in 2013. Many people do not realize the effect a government shutdown will actually have on the American people.

1078874_word_work_on_the_dicesFirst of all, it should be noted that the federal government is not legally allowed to spend any money that has not been appropriated by Congress. What this means is that employees will not be allowed to work during a shutdown, with hopes of being paid later under most situations. This means it is actually illegal for most employees to work during a government shutdown.

There are certain government functions that will remain operating, and these are ones that are required by a specific statute or there is an exception that allows them to spend when money is not allocated yet. As a recent article from Forbes explains, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will still be paid during a government shutdown, and the people who are needed to process the benefits will still be working during this time. Interestingly, the people who are still working may not get paid while they are working until after the shutdown ends.

The government will also be able to perform functions necessary to carry out the necessary and emergency functions to protect human life and property. The military will still be in operation defending our nation. However, as our Boston disability attorneys can explain, not every government function will be in operation. It is not likely that the Social Security Administration (SSA) will be fully operational, and they will probably not be processing new applicants and holding appeals before administrative law judges (ALJs).

While the shutdown was expected to have happened on October 1, the resignation of John Boehner caused any possible shutdown to be delayed until sometime in December of this year. The best thing you can do if you have a disability and are planning to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits is to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. The faster you get your application into the review and acceptance process, the sooner you will be eligible for disability benefits. This is true whether there is a government shutdown or not.

One of the main reasons Boehner decided to resign, according to his announcement, was that he did not want to go thorough the divisive process again, as he had in 2013 when the government was shut down for 16 days. This was only the third time in the history of the United States that the government was shut down. It is hard to say what exactly will happen. A government shutdown will have a devastating and polarizing effect of the nation, and this may have a serious effect on the upcoming presidential election. This may be a determining factor as to whether politicians will actually follow through on their threats to shut down the government this year, and hopefully they will not.

If you or a loved one is seeking Social Security Disability Insurance benefits in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

Social Security, But No Park Visits Or Panda Cam During A Federal Shutdown, September 26, 2015, Forbes, by Janet Novack

More Blog Entries:

Rand Paul Says Many Receiving SSDI Benefits Gaming System, Jan. 27, 2015, Boston Social Security Disability Insurance Lawyer Blog