Understanding the Debt Ceiling and Its Impact on Social Security Payments

If you've been following the news, you may have heard about the debt ceiling and its potential impact on the government's ability to pay its bills. But what exactly is the debt ceiling, and how does it differ from a government shutdown? More importantly, could it affect your Social Security payments?

The debt ceiling, also known as the debt limit, is the maximum amount of money that the government is allowed to borrow to pay its expenses. When the Treasury approaches this limit, it requests Congress to raise the debt ceiling and takes accounting measures to continue paying the government's obligations. If Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling, the Treasury will be unable to pay all of its bills in full and on time, which could include Social Security payments.

100 dollar bill with American flagHowever, reaching the debt ceiling is not the same as a government shutdown. A government shutdown occurs when Congress fails to pass a spending bill to fund the government. If the Treasury Department runs out of money due to the debt ceiling not being raised, portions of the government could shut down. Historically, Social Security payments have still been issued during government shutdowns.

If the debt ceiling is not raised, the Treasury Department would have to make difficult decisions about which bills to pay and which to delay. We do not know which bills would be affected, but they could include Social Security payments, veterans' benefits, and disaster assistance funds.

If you think you may be eligible for Social Security benefits, don't hesitate to contact our experienced social security disability attorneys for an evaluation of your claim. We can help you navigate the process and ensure you receive the benefits you deserve.

James R. Keller
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Partner at Keller & Keller
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