Government Shutdown Information

There may be a lot of questions and confusion surrounding today’s government shutdown.  We have information about some of the important benefits, and how the shutdown affects those programs.

Will I still get my mail?
Yes. The U.S. Postal Service functions as an independent business unit.

Would the government continue to enforce wage and hour laws?
The laws will still be in effect, but the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division would suspend operations.

Will a shutdown put the brakes on implementing the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare?”
No. The state-run exchanges for the uninsured would open as scheduled Tuesday. “The marketplaces will be open on Tuesday, no matter what, even if there is a government shutdown,” President Obama said Friday.

Will seniors continue to get Social Security benefits?
Yes. Social Security is a mandatory spending program, and the people who send those checks would continue to work under a legal doctrine called “necessary implication.”

Can I apply for Social Security benefits, appeal a denial of benefits, change my address or sign up for direct deposit?
Yes.

Can I get a new or replacement Social Security card, benefit verification statement or earnings record correction?
No.

Will the government continue to pay unemployment benefits?
Yes. The Employment and Training Administration “will continue to provide essential functions, as occurred during the shutdown of 1995,” according to the Department of Labor contingency plan.

Will I be able to get food stamps?
Yes. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is funded through the Recovery Act and from funds that don’t expire for another year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says.

What about WIC?
No money will be available to pay the administrative costs of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. But because it’s administered by states, there may be state funds available.

And the federal school lunch program?
Schools are reimbursed for these costs on a monthly basis and are allowed to carry over funds from the previous fiscal year. The USDA expects most schools will be able to continue providing meals through October.

For more information, or for other questions, see the USA Today article at:
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/09/29/questions-and-answers-about-the-shutdown/2888419/

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