Don’t worry. But worry.

October 3rd, 2013 · No Comments · Blog, Featured Home Page Post

Mr. Worry Book CoverI’m sure you’ve heard the U.S. government is shut down with no specific startup in sight. The situation has spread pain broadly across the nation, particularly for the approximately 800,000 federal workers who are furloughed and without income until Congress hammers out a deal. Although there will be an impact on the operations of the Social Security Administration (SSA), Social Security disability, survivors and retirement benefits will go out on time.

Let me repeat, everyone will receive their Social Security benefits as scheduled.

So, in the short term Social Security disability benefits are protected.

But that doesn’t mean workers with disabilities are shielded from the impact of the government shutdown, or that Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are safe in the long run.

Social Security disability programs provide not only income continuity and healthcare, but also work incentives that support seamless transitions to employment.

But some of the Social Security functions that support return-to work programs have been halted, such as benefits verification, earning reporting and continuity of long-term employment services.

Been denied? No new appeals hearings are being scheduled during the shutdown, so you’re stuck in limbo. As if wait times weren’t long enough already. Overpayment reviews and processing of earnings reports have stopped, which means even if you’re getting benefits now, there’s a possibility you’ll be asked to pay them back later. Need to apply? No new applications will be processed.

And forget about replacing a lost Social Security or Medicare card. That will just have to wait.

The good news is that the shutdown won’t result in anyone not getting Social Security disability payments. But in my next post, I will tell you about something that could.

Lisa Ekman, Health & Disability Advocates




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