What the Impending Government Shutdown Means for Medicaid, SNAP, WIC, and Social Security

What the Impending Government Shutdown Means for Medicaid, SNAP, WIC, and Social Security

Rockland Daily Staff

While Washington continues its mad dash to pass a spending bill before the October 1 fiscal deadline, millions of Americans are waiting with bated breath to see what will become of government funding that, to many, is an absolute lifeline. 

With the new fiscal year starting on October 1, without funding legislation signed into law by the president, all "non-essential" work of federal agencies will have to grind to a halt.

Food stamp recipients do not need to worry, though, as they will receive their October payments even with an October government shutdown.

"The bottom line," the Food Research and Action Center states, "upfront: SNAP recipients will receive their October payments, even if a government shutdown occurs."

On the other hand, the benefits for the 7 million Americans who receive funding from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program will be halted as soon as the shutdown begins on October 1.

Not only that but if the federal government is forced to shut down and the hundreds of thousands of workers of government field offices and call centers will not be allowed to work nor be paid for the duration, crucial government services,  such as Medicaid card replacements and the benefit verifications that recipients need to apply for assistance programs, will be temporarily suspended.

In the meantime, Social Security, Medicare, and disability checks considered "mandatory spending" and which come from a trust fund, will continue to go out during a government shutdown, as reported by Rockland Daily here. 

The longer the shutdown lasts, though, the more likely it is to possibly affect these program beneficiaries as well. 

Currently, most Congressional Republicans want to cut spending, while most Democrats want to keep on spending.

The federal body's inability to compromise could cause the first government shutdown since late 2018 when the U.S. Congress could not come to an agreement about funding for a border wall for 34 days during the administration of former President Donald Trump.

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