What the Government Shutdown Means for Social Security Disability Applicants

Retired man in his wheelchair

By Marie Lowery

As the government shutdown continues into the second week, here is what those individuals who are applying for benefits and have pending applications can expect. The local offices continue to be open on a limited basis and are processing new applications.

For those individuals who recently had a hearing and are waiting on a decision from an Administrative Law Judge, there will be delays. While Administrative Law Judges are still holding hearings during the shutdown, the legal assistants and attorneys at the hearing offices who draft and process the decisions are furloughed. Therefore, decisions will be delayed in excess of the normal processing time of 30 to 60 days because of the government shutdown.

Services still ongoing:

  • Hearings will continue as scheduled.
  • Individuals are able to file an initial application for disability benefits.
  • SSD Appeals will continue to be processed.
  • Individuals are able to change their address or direct deposit information.
  • Critical payments are still being issued.

The Joye Law Firm’s Social Security Department is continuing to process applications during this time. Please call us at 843-554-3100 if you would like to apply for Social Security disability benefits or have questions regarding your pending application.