Will March Social Security Checks Be Held if the Government Shuts Down? What to Know

In less than a month, a potential government shutdown could happen unless Congress can come to an agreement on a number of funding bills. Lawmakers have until March 1 and March 8 to approve these bills. If a shutdown does happen and you receive Social Security or other government benefits, you may be wondering how your payments will be affected. 

We’ll explain below what could happen to Social Security benefits if there’s a government shutdown. For more, find out if you’ll need to pay taxes on your Social Security money this year.

Will I get my Social Security check if there’s a government shutdown?

In 2023 while anticipating a shutdown, Chad M. Poist, the administration’s deputy commissioner of budget, finance and management, set out the agency’s contingency plan (PDF). While he anticipated the administration would furlough 53,000 of its 60,000 employees and cease activities not directly related to the accurate and timely payment of benefits, he said the agency would “continue activities critical to our direct-service operations and those needed to ensure accurate and timely payment of benefits.”

What does that mean to you? If you’re one of the nearly 72 million Americans who receive Social Security benefits or are enrolled in other programs (see below), you’ll still get your monthly checks.

This includes Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance. Be aware that if you have any issues with your payments, it may be a while before you receive a response from the Social Security Administration.

See below for government benefits that could be affected by a shutdown.


A shutdown shouldn’t pause your Social Security payments.

CNET staff

Which other federal programs won’t be affected by a government shutdown?

If you receive Medicaid or Medicare, you can also expect to receive those benefits on time. If you have any issues, you may have to wait a bit to hear back if there’s a shutdown.

You could lose WIC and SNAP benefits

If you receive the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), you could be at risk for losing assistance immediately if the government shuts down. 

If you’re one of the 40 million Americans who receive the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), your benefits would still be available, but only for a limited time because the USDA can only send out benefits for 30 days after a shutdown begins.

To make sure your benefits arrive on time, here’s the Social Security payment schedule, when SSDI checks go out and when you can expect your SSI payment to arrive.

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