Payments of Social Security benefits have continued without interruption despite the partial shutdown of the federal government.
In a prepared statement, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that it isnâ€™t affected by the shutdown and doesnâ€™t â€œanticipate disruption in benefit payments for Social Security beneficiaries or Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries. All payments will be made as scheduled.â€
Since the shutdown began Dec. 22, Social Security offices have remained open on regular weekday schedules, and beneficiaries have been able to manage their accounts online at ssa.gov/myaccount.
While some federal agencies have cut back or stopped services during the shutdown, SSA hasnâ€™t because Social Security benefits are mandatory government spending and not subject to annual congressional approval.
Even in a full government shutdown, Social Security and Medicare checks would still be sent out, but benefit verification would stop, and no new cards would be issued, according to Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a non-profit organization that is a clearinghouse of information for the public on government fiscal issues.
The current, partial shutdown began after Congress and President Donald Trump didnâ€™t agree on appropriations legislation for the federal government for the 2019 fiscal year. The impasse stemmed from Trumpâ€™s demand for $5.6 billion for construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives has rejected the full funding request.
This year, more than 67 million Anericans are receiving a 2.8 percent cost-of-living adjustment in Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits. It’s the largest COLA increase since 2012, when benefits rose 3.6 percent.