What is the status of Social Security, given the partial federal government shutdown that took effect Oct. 1?

The latest

The Social Security Administration has posted the following information on its Web site:

Due to the Federal Government Shutdown, Social Security field offices are open with limited services. Hearings offices remain open to conduct hearings before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Social Security card centers are closed.

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income payments to beneficiaries will continue with no change in payment dates.

Due to Congressional inaction to prevent the Government shutdown, we will only provide the following services at Social Security field offices:

  1. Help you apply for benefits
  2. Assist you in requesting an appeal
  3. Change your address or direct deposit information
  4. Accept reports of death
  5. Verify or change your citizenship status
  6. Replace a lost or missing Social Security payment
  7. Issue a critical payment
  8. Change a representative payee
  9. Process a change in your living arrangement or income (SSI recipients only)

We cannot provide the following services:

  1. Issue new or replacement Social Security cards
  2. Replace your Medicare card
  3. Issue a proof of income letter

If your visit involves any Social Security-related service not listed above, we regret we are unable to assist you. We regret any inconvenience. Our Online Services will remain open.

Previous reports

The Monroe News had this report Sept. 20 from Associated Press: Here’s the truth – the government doesn’t shut down.

Current beneficiaries need not worry; their payments wouldn’t be affected. And given the most recent precedent from the Clinton administration, those eligible to apply for benefits would be able to do so. During the first shutdown in 1995, the Social Security Administration initially furloughed 93 percent of its workers and stopped enrolling new beneficiaries. But it reversed course in the second shutdown and kept 50,000 additional workers on the job.

CNN Money posted this on Sept. 24: Are Social Security payments at risk?

It’s very likely that the nearly 58 million people who receive Social Security benefits would still be paid on time, at least if the law and history are any guide. … It’s not clear, though, if the Social Security Administration would retain enough staff during a shutdown to process without delay any new applications for benefits or other benefit-related activities.

CNN had this to say at 10 ways a government shutdown would affect your daily life:

If you’re on Social Security, however, don’t worry — probably. Social Security payments were sent during the last shutdown. President Obama’s expected to keep workers on the payroll to process checks. But would there be enough employees to process new benefits for the newly retired?

Wall Street Journal has this to say at What to expect when you’re expecting a shutdown.

Social Security payments will continue to go out, and the administration is expected to continue taking applications for benefits, as in plans released Friday. In that plan, the agency said it will furlough 18,006 of its 62,343 workers.

 This article was updated Oct. 8, 2013.

 

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