Home Business Impacts of Government Shutdown: Student Loans, Employee Pay, and Social Security in Peril

Impacts of Government Shutdown: Student Loans, Employee Pay, and Social Security in Peril

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Impacts of Government Shutdown: Student Loans, Employee Pay, and Social Security in Peril

With gridlock persisting in Washington, a government shutdown is becoming increasingly likely as the deadline approaches. If a shutdown occurs, federal employees may be furloughed, and essential workers may be forced to work without pay until it ends. This could have ripple effects on various federal programs, such as food assistance and customer service for recipients of Medicare and Social Security. According to experts, a shutdown could bring significant financial uncertainty and economic implications for millions of Americans who rely on government benefits.

One of the programs at risk is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), which could run out of federal contingency funds in a matter of days if a shutdown happens. Families receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) could also face disruptions if the shutdown lasts longer. Head Start programs, serving disadvantaged children, would immediately lose federal funding, impacting over 10,000 children. Concerns about free school meals for low-income children have also arisen, although the Agriculture Department does not anticipate immediate issues.

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income payments will continue, but there may be delays in response times due to furloughs. Medicare and Medicaid benefits will also continue, though there could be disruptions in customer service. The air-travel system is expected to operate normally since air traffic controllers and TSA screeners are deemed essential workers, but delays in TSA lines are possible. Passport and visa processing will continue as long as sufficient fees support operations, and most Customs and Border Protection agents will still work at airports and border crossings.

With student loans emerging from the pandemic pause and accruing interest on September 1, a government shutdown starting on the same day could cause delays for borrowers who need assistance from the Education Department. The United States Postal Service will not be affected by a shutdown, as it funds itself through sales of products and services. Overall, a government shutdown would have far-reaching consequences on various programs and services that Americans rely on.

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