The country recently experienced a three day Government Shutdown which means the government has a lapse in Federal funds to disburse. Following, the announcement of the shutdown, Michelle King, the Deputy Commissioner for Budget, Finance and Management set forth a contingency plan of the Social Security Administration (SSA) to continue activities during the lapse in Federal appropriations. This contingency plan was set to promote service to the public and keep the Administration on track to meet fiscal obligations. So what does all that mean?
The bottom line is that the SSA will continue to function at some level and will choose to discontinue some activities that are not as critical while a shutdown is in effect. One of the most important things to know is that if you are receiving benefits, those benefits will not stop. You will continue to receive your benefits as scheduled no matter the length of the shutdown. In addition, there some additional activities that the SSA will continue with despite a government shutdown that is 1-5 days long: process new applications for benefits (including appointments), process appeals, evaluate claims at the initial and reconsideration levels, hold scheduled hearings, write decisions and schedule new hearings dates, and other critical activities required to get a case ready for hearing including drafting relevant notices. This contingency plan would be reevaluated if the shutdown is longer than 5 days keeping in mind the goal to keep these listed activities going for as long as possible.
Now you’re probably also asking specifically what does this mean for me? For the most part, you personally will not feel any real change in services provided by SSA. But here at the Khaki Law Firm, we are more affected; because the contingency plans limits how much activity a third party (us) can interact with the administration. For example, if we call to inquire about your case at the local office, we would not be granted information or have the ability to request certain actions on our client’s behalf. With that being said, our office will continue to work diligently on your case on our end and take necessary actions to keep your case on track. The Khaki Law Firm is dedicated to you and here to keep you up to date on all the trends of the SSA and will continue to monitor the government’s activity. Please feel free to contact our office with any questions or concerns about this information in regard to your case.