Debt Crisis Could Delay Social Security Disability Checks

Even though most Social Security Disability recipients have not yet been impacted by the government shutdown, the looming debt crisis does pose a threat. Recent reports nhave called attention to the reality that the debt crisis could wind up delaying Social Security checks. This could be a disaster for the millions of families that depend on Social Security income for survival, food, and care.


Most reports indicate that Social Security beneficiaries have continued to receive their benefits on time. Despite the initial relief, recipients should be aware that the debt crisis could have long-term negative consequences. Our Massachusetts SSDI attorneys are experienced in helping our clients collect the benefits they need and deserve. We are abreast of all developments in the Social Security Administration and in legislative changes that could impact the rights of our clients and our community.

Social Security is a government trust that theoretically brings in more money that it distributes. Based on this premise, many continue to argue that even if the United States does not choose to raise the debt ceiling and borrow more money, Social Security beneficiaries will continue to receive their payments. All Americans should be aware of the possible impact of failure to raise the debt ceiling, including the reality that in some instances, Social Security checks may get delayed by days or weeks.

If the nation’s borrowing limit is reached, the consequences are unknown and could have a widespread and severe impact. Internationally, financial and government leaders have urged Congress to work out their differences before it is too late. Due to the complex nature of the government system, there is no way of guaranteeing that Social Security will be immune during a national and potentially worldwide debt crisis.

The administration predicts that the government will run out of borrowing authority on Thursday if the debt ceiling is not raised. On the one hand, the government could continue to pay the nation’s bills with taxpayer money, but financial experts predict that eventually there will not be enough money to keep paying these bills. The government would eventually have to make decisions about who they will pay first. They will still have to pay individual employees, agencies, contractors, federal employees working abroad, as well as their bottom-line debits. In the end, certain groups may be on the short list to lose their payments first.

Even the administration has admitted that Social Security beneficiaries could be on this list. It is likely that SSD checks will be on the same level as other bills that the government is obligated to pay, thus creating delays until there is enough revenue coming in to cover them. Some payouts slated to go out as early as October 23 could be delayed for 2 days. Those slated for November 1, could be delayed for 12 days. For recipients the delays are unknown, creating unprecedented stress for the countries beneficiaries.

Though Social Security is held in a “trust” the income is also used for other purposes and is combined with other revenue sources. Not being held or saved separately means that this trust income will likely be a source to pay out on other debts. In the end, Social Security is on the same level as other programs and stands to be impacted by the looming debt crisis. Advocates and members of AARP as well as disability groups are seeking for ways to ensure that the benefits do get paid on time.

If you are considering filing for SSDI in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.

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