If you receive Social Security, Medicare, or disability benefits, the government shutdown, officially known as a shutdown furlough, might cause you concern. Will you still get your checks during the government shutdown?

Will my retirement checks still come during the government shutdown?

What Is a Government Shutdown Furlough?

Shutdown furloughs happen at the beginning of the fiscal year if no funding has been allocated. Congress and the President must approve twelve appropriations bills in order to continue providing funding for government operations. These bill give the funding needed for the various government agencies, including the Social Security Administration.

During a shutdown, the federal government shuts down all “non-essential services." For example, if you work at a national park, you probably will be sent home and not receive your paycheck. After the government shutdown ends, reparations on your back-pay will likely be made.

What About My Benefits?

All essential services will continue during a shutdown. This includes your Social Security and disability checks. So during the shutdown, you will still receive your Social Security and disability benefits.

The federal government shuts down all “non-essential services."

Also, there should be no disruption in processing your Medicare claims, or accepting new Medicare applications (as happened back in 1996). Medicare is an entitlement program and not subject to the appropriations process. In other words, the processing of Medicare claims is deemed "essential."

How Will the Shutdown Affect Me?

While your checks and processing of Medicare will still occur, some sections of the Social Security Administration will be affected during a shutdown. Many SSA employees would be placed on furlough, so you'll have fewer government resources available to you such as people available in your local administration office. Also, benefit verification, e.g. when you are applying for loan, and issuing Social Security cards would cease.