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Government shutdown could affect disability applicants

With the government shutdown, many people have been worried that they won't be able to receive the disability payments they're entitled to. For the most part, the people who are already receiving these benefits don't need to worry, because Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are part of required government operations.

For people who have not yet been approved to receive benefits, there's a greater risk of having to go without. While those who already have approvals for Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security Disability (SSD) will keep receiving their payments, those who haven't been approved are going to be faced with longer wait times.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has had to send home workers who are not essential to daily operations as part of the government shutdown. As such, the wait times for those seeking disability is going to increase significantly as those desks are left empty and paperwork piles up.

The good news is that the SSA did create a contingency plan for situations like this one. While many nonessential employees are going without work, there are still people in the offices processing paperwork and making sure disability benefits are being paid.

Government shutdowns are scary for a few reasons, one of them being the risk to those who need government programs the most. If you are caught up in a situation like this, it's important to get to know your legal options. There's no telling how long the government could be shut down, so it's important that you complete any paperwork you have as carefully as you can to make sure it's approved the first time.

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