We are sure you have read or heard by now about the government partial shut down on Friday, December 21, 2018. According to the Social Security Administration’s (“SSA”) most recent shutdown contingency plan, most core programs and functions as well as payments to recipients of benefits will continue in the event of a shutdown.

The reason this shut down is different is because the SSA received its Fiscal Year 2019 funding in September 2018. Thus, any potential shutdown will only minimally affect the SSA. Hearings will be conducted as scheduled, and all district and hearing offices will be open as customary, even if there is a government shutdown on Friday, December 21, 2018.

Federal Government Shutdown and Receiving Benefits

Here is a more detailed list of activities that will continue even if the Federal Government shuts down:

  • Applications for benefits (including appointments; limited data exchanges and record corrections, including claims related earnings, for mandatory benefits)
  • Request for appeals at Reconsideration, Hearings, and the Appeals Council will remain in affect
  • Changes of address will still be processed
  • Changes of Supplemental Security Income living arrangements
  • Changes to direct deposit accounts
  • Processing of over-payments and administrative fees
  • Changes to representative payees
  • Original and replacement Social Security cards
  • Redeterminations and continuing disability reviews (CDR)
  • Hearing cases, deciding cases, preparing electronic files for claimants and their representatives, development of records
  • Adding new medical and vocational experts

The History of Government Shutdowns and Benefits

During the 1996 and the 2013 shutdown, Social Security benefits continued to be paid to recipients as planned. However, the SSA employees who jobs included processing new enrollments and other services, like change of addresses and requests for new Social Security cards, were originally furloughed in 1996. In contrast, during the 2013 shut down other activities were discontinued, including confirming benefits and issuing new and replacement cards, but processing applications for benefits and address changes continued.

Whenever a threat of a shutdown looms, The Good Law Group closely monitors the situation and checks the SSA Shut Down Contingency plan. 

Are you in need of assistance in collecting SSD benefits? Consider the Good Law Group for your representation. Contact us at #(847) 577-4476 or complete our online form.