No halt in Social Security payments

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 isn’t affected by the shutdown and doesn’t “anticipate disruption in benefit payments for Social Security beneficiaries or Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries. All payments will be made as scheduled.”

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

While some federal agencies have cut back or stopped services during the shutdown, SSA hasn’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 didn’t agree on appropriations legislation for the federal government for the 2019 fiscal year. The impasse stemmed from Trump’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.