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Marketplace: What Happens to Social Security Benefits in a Debt Default or a Government Shutdown?

  November 12, 2023 | By Janet Nguyen
A photo of a paper check from the US treasury with a pen hovering over it, underneath a blue overlay.

NOSSCR Interim CEO David Camp recently spoke with Janet Nguyen from Marketplace about the impact a government shutdown or debt default would have on Social Security disability beneficiaries. 

How are seniors on federal Supplemental Security Income supposed to get by if the government goes into default? Especially if there is no backup income?

Over the past decade, the country’s debt ceiling limit and spending plans have been a repeated point of contention for lawmakers, leading to government dysfunction.

Earlier this year, the U.S. risked a default on its debt if Congress failed to raise or suspend the debt ceiling. Now, the possibility of a shutdown looms if Congress can’t agree to a deal that keeps the government funded. It would be the fourth shutdown in 10 years.

Lawmakers’ aversion to compromise has far-reaching implications that has affected or could affect government operations, benefit programs, federal workers’ paychecks and the broader economy.

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