With the Federal governments shutdown extending into the New Year, many wonder if it will impact Medicare, Medicaid, disability benefits and Social Security. Fortunately, the shutdown will not effect these programs as they are considered “mandatory spending.” However, if you are applying for these services, you may experience delays in processing. Also, as non-essential employees are being furloughed, you can expect longer lines than usual at local offices or when calling. Benefit verification and the issuing of new Social Security cards will temporarily halt.
The longer the shutdown, the more chances are it could impact you. Below are possible ramifications:
• 41% of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is now furloughed. However, the FDA will continue specific activities within the scope of its user fee–funded programs, including those for prescription drugs, generic drugs, biosimilars, medical devices, and tobacco products. Existing critical public health challenges, including drug shortages and outbreaks related to foodborne illness and infectious diseases, will continue to be addressed. AJMC
• Five days into the shutdown, the office of Food and Nutrition Services cut staff by 95%. Eligible households will still receive monthly SNAP benefits for January. But other domestic nutrition assistance programs such as the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, WIC, and the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations will only be operational based on available resources. Additional federal funds and commodities will not be provided during the shutdown. Child nutrition programs including School Lunch, School Breakfast, Child and Adult Care Feeding, Summer Food Service and Special Milk will continue through February.
• You may find it difficult to get a new passport or Visa. Please note that if you wish to fly internationally, your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the completion of a trip. If your passport expires sooner that that, you must have it renewed.
• Nearly all of the Department of Housing and Urban Development employees will be furloughed during the partial shutdown. That means fair housing enforcement, issuance of new development grants, and housing quality inspections will stall. New home buyers might also feel the effects because loan processing and approvals could be delayed.
The longer the shutdown lasts, the more it will create a “domino effect,” impacting the economy and most people will begin to notice changes.