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HomeUncategorizedExpert claims Social Security payments will persist despite nearing shutdown deadline

Expert claims Social Security payments will persist despite nearing shutdown deadline

A view of the United States Capitol building in Washington D.C., United States on October 4 , 2023. 

Yasin Ozturk | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Potential impact of shutdown on Social Security

In the event of the worst-case scenario and a failure by legislators to reach a final agreement before the specified dates, it may take some time for the American populace to discern, as conveyed by Andrew Lautz, senior policy analyst at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Lautz stated, “The day-to-day effects of a shutdown are not keenly felt by Americans until it has persisted for a period of one to two weeks, prompting agencies to progressively cease more programs and services.”

According to him, these effects could be experienced in stages, wherein individuals may realize that the programs and services they rely on are no longer available, such as inactive phone lines due to furloughed government employees or halting of loans and grants disbursement by a particular department during the shutdown.

The impact could be most greatly felt by thousands of federal employees who find themselves either furloughed or working without compensation.

Responding to the potential threat of a partial government shutdown in the previous year, the Social Security Office of Budget, Finance and Management delineated its strategies for agency operations during a lapse.

Certain activities, such as benefit applications or issuance of Social Security cards, would persist, while other services like benefit verifications or replacement Medicare card issuance would be suspended.

This structure for Social Security is likely to remain in effect if legislators fail to finalize an agreement before the Feb. 2 deadline, Richtman suggested.

Supporters monitor Social Security funding

The recent developments have sparked hope that Washington leaders could possibly reach an agreement before the specified dates.

However, Social Security proponents, including the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, are closely observing the amount of funding allocated to the agency in the ongoing negotiations.

President Joe Biden had requested an additional $1.4 billion for Social Security in 2024, while House Republicans had advocated for reductions in the agency’s operational budget.

Ongoing negotiations suggest no increase in funding for the Social Security Administration, as per the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, at a time when reports indicate the agency is already facing prolonged service delays and outdated technology.

Inadequate funding could pose a challenge to the plans of new Social Security Commissioner Martin O’Malley to enhance the agency’s services, Richtman emphasized.

Lawmakers frequently receive complaints from their constituents about difficulties in reaching the Social Security administration, obtaining replacement cards, or verifying their entitlements, he noted.

“These members of Congress or Senate criticize the Social Security administration, yet they do not provide sufficient funding to effectively fulfill their obligations,” Richtman criticized.

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