By now, most of our Portland readers are familiar with the ongoing government shutdown, which was sparked when members of Congress sought to delay implementation of the president’s Affordable Care Act. Until a budget for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1 can be implemented, many programs will be at a standstill. National parks, government offices and even Washington institutions such as the Smithsonian have been temporarily shuttered; thousands of government workers considered to be nonessential have been furloughed from their jobs.
Of course, people in Oregon who rely on Social Security disability insurance benefits are keeping a close eye on the situation. The last thing that people who rely on government benefits need is for the system to suddenly go dark and leave recipients without those desperately needed benefits.
Well, as it turns out, when it comes to SSDI benefits, not much should change. Almost all recipients nowadays receive their benefits on an automatic electronic schedule; that will not be affected. If assistance is needed at a local office, recipients should at least call ahead to make sure the office will be staffed.
Regardless of the amount of government staffing — even during normal times — it might be in the best interest of people who are considering applying for benefits for the first time, or who are seeking to appeal a decision that has already been issued, to consult with an experienced Social Security disability insurance benefits attorney. If nothing else, the government shutdown adds a layer of complexity to what is already a complex process.
Source: Disability Scoop, “What The Shutdown Means For Disability Services,” Michelle Diament, Oct. 1, 2013