Government Shutdown 2021: Will Social Security Checks Still Be Sent?

West Palm Beach, USA - June 10, 2014: An opened envelope with the return address showing the U.
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If you currently receive a Social Security check and wonder whether a government shutdown will impact your payment, rest easy: Social Security payments will continue to go out as usual.

See: Senior Stimulus: How an Additional $1,400 Check Could Help Social Security Recipients Afford Rising Grocery Costs
Find: 5 Things Most Americans Don’t Know About Social Security

That’s because the Social Security Administration has the authority to continue mailing checks to beneficiaries even if the government gets shut down, ABC7 Chicago reported. That applies to both Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) checks.

But the Social Security Administration will be affected in other ways. For example, benefit verification, Social Security claims and card issuance would cease. This would impact millions of other Americans who don’t currently get Social Security benefits.

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) noted on his website that on a typical day, about 60,000 Americans apply for Social Security cards, which they might need to start a job, take out a loan, open a bank account, or conduct other financial transactions.

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“During a shutdown, no Social Security cards are issued,” he wrote.

Government shutdowns have happened in the U.S. before, most recently in 2013. During that shutdown, Social Security payments kept going out, the AS.com website reported.  And because Social Security payments are taken out of a trust fund paid for through payroll taxes, checks should continue even if the debt ceiling isn’t raised.

See: Social Security Eligibility: What It Takes to Receive Max Monthly $3,895
Find: 10 Reasons You Should Claim Social Security Early

However, it might take a little longer than usual to get the checks. As GOBankingRates reported yesterday, beginning on Oct. 1 the U.S. Postal Service will implement new service standards for first-class mail and periodicals. First-class mail and periodicals traveling within the same region will continue to be delivered within two to three days, but mail traveling long distances might require additional transit time.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte MagazineStreet & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, will be published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.

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