Government Shutdown and the effect on Disability

October 3, 2013

You may be concerned about the ways in which the current government shutdown will affect your disability benefits, or how your application for disability benefits will be effected.

 While the government is, in fact, “shut down” for the time being, some essential parts remain open. This holds true with respect to the Social Security Administration (SSA). While parts of SSA will shut down until Congress once again funds the government and the shutdown ends, other parts will remain functional. One thing that will be unaffected by the shutdown is the payment of Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. The payment of these benefits will continue without interruption.

 With regard to pending applications for benefits, local offices will continue to process new applications and requests for reconsideration. Additionally, previously scheduled hearings are expected to be conducted. However, the real change comes with regard to scheduling new hearings and the Appeals Council. Currently, SSA will not be scheduling new hearings and the Appeals Council will not be reviewing new cases.

 In sum, people will continue to receive their Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Those with a scheduled hearing will still have their hearing. Also, those who would like to file a new application, request for reconsideration, or request a hearing may do so. However, there will be delays in scheduling those hearings and receiving decisions from the Appeals Council.

 Click here to read SSA’s shutdown contingency plan: http://www.ssa.gov/pressoffice/shutdown2013.pdf

Click here to read a letter from President Obama to government employees: http://www.ssa.gov/shutdown/MessagefromthePresidenttoUSGovernmentEmployees.pdf

During this time, we will continue to work hard for each and every one of our clients. We expect SSA to be fully operational in the very near future, although we cannot be certain when that will be. Until then, if you have any questions feel free to call and we will do our best to answer any questions you may have about your claim. 

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