Government Shutdown and SSA Disability Benefits

While congress has momentarily reopened the government, it is not clear for how long.  Many people have questions about how a government shutdown impacts the Social Security Administration and specifically the disbursement of SSI and SSDI benefits.

During a shutdown, all government services are unavailable unless they are deemed essential functions.  Luckily, the applications and payment of disability benefits are considered essential functions and thus are maintained during a shutdown.  However, the appeals process for administrative law judge decisions (appeals court) are discontinued during government shutdowns.  Other SSA services like the issuement or replacement of Social Security and Medicare cards are not provided during a shutdown.

A full list of services that the SSA continued to provide during this past weekend’s government shutdowns can be found in the contingency plan that Chief Financial Officer Michelle King sent to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney (

While the SSA is able to maintain many core functions during government shutdowns, many people are inconvenienced or prevented from pushing forward with their claims.  Call Viner Disability Law at 720-515-9012 for more information.