Social Security payments to continue during government shutdown

Limited services available in field offices during funding lapse

Jan 22, 2018 @ 11:19 am

By Mary Beth Franklin

Social Security payments to retirees, survivors and eligible family members, as well as Supplemental Security Income payments to low-income elderly and disabled recipients, will continue with no change in payment dates during the government shutdown, according to an announcement posted on the Social Security Administration's website.

However, because of the lapse in funding, the agency will provide only limited services at local Social Security field offices.

The government shutdown remained in effect Monday after senators failed to come to an agreement to end the stalemate late Sunday night. A vote is scheduled for noon Monday to end the shutdown with a short-term spending bill that would last three weeks, but it was not clear if it would be successful.

During the shutdown, local Social Security offices can assist members of the public with applying for Social Security benefits, appealing a benefits determination, or changing their address or direct deposit information. The agency can continue to accept reports of a death, verify or change citizenship status, replace a lost or missing Social Security payment or change a representative payee for a minor or disabled beneficiary.

However, local offices will not be able to issue new or replacement Social Security cards, replace a Medicare card, issue a proof-of-income letter, or update or correct earnings records during the shutdown.

But online services will remain available. Beneficiaries can replace a Medicare card or request a proof of income letter by using a personalized my Social Security account.

I logged onto my personal Social Security account to verify it was working during the government shutdown. It is. I was able to download my latest estimated benefits statement and earnings record. Remember, you must now change your password every six months and SSA will send a security code to your cell phone before you can access your information as an additional security precaution.

The agency's contingency plan, which is also posted on the Social Security Administration website, notes that 53,000 employees have been excluded from furloughs to carry out essential services during the government shutdown and that it has sufficient "program integrity funds" available through March 2018.

However, if a partial shutdown lasts longer than five days, the agency said, "we would reevaluate the number of excepted employees performing such functions and possibly increase the number of excepted employees as we did during the previous shutdown." Monday marked the third day of the government shutdown.


What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

RIA Data Center

Use InvestmentNews' RIA Data Center to filter and find key information on over 1,400 fee-only registered investment advisory firms.

Rank RIAs by

Featured video


Cameras roll at Best Places to Work for Financial Advisers' awards

Advisory firm winners on the top 50 InvestmentNews list of Best Places to Work for Financial Advisers explain the significance of this recognition at the Chicago awards event.

Latest news & opinion

Focus Financial files for an IPO valued at $100 million

The RIA aggregator, founded by CEO Ruediger 'Rudy' Adolf (above), has partnered with more than 50 registered investment adviser firms.

Piwowar defends SEC's best-interest rule

SEC commissioner says the Department of Labor rule set up an 'unworkable, impossible set of standards for people to comply with.'

RIA in a Box acquired by private equity firm Aquiline Capital

New owners plan more growth for the software service provider.

IBDs with the most female reps

Here are the 10 independent-broker dealers that have the most female reps.

5th Circuit denies states' second attempt to defend DOL fiduciary rule

The three-judge panel split again, 2-1, in deciding not to take another look at the motion to intervene by California, New York and Oregon.


Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.


Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print