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

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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.

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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.

“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.

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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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