In the weeks leading up to March, people across the nation were introduced to a term they had probably never heard before: sequester. Although it carried little meaning for a majority of people, including many here in Illinois, there was still an air of fear about it; it sounded ominous and whatever it was, it was not something the United States wanted to happen.
Now, with the sequester in full swing, people are beginning to see that it is a round of budget cuts designed to curb government spending in hopes of mitigating our chances of hitting the debt ceiling over the course of the year. But many government agencies have been hit hard by the sequester, lending fear to disabled people here in Illinois, as well as those across the nation, who rely on government assistance to survive.
So how have the recent cuts in government spending affected the Social Security Administration and have programs like Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income been affected in any way?
For the most part, people who are currently receiving benefits from the Social Security Administration have little to be afraid of when it comes to the sequester. Although the Social Security Administration is likely to close some of its offices in order to cut down on costs, this slight disruption to public service is probably the only concern at this time.
The federal government has promised that there will be no change to the amount of money received from disability payments and SSI as these programs are exempt from the budget cuts. This is a huge relief to hundreds of thousands of people currently relying on these subsidies to maintain financial stability.
Source: AARP, “What the ‘Sequester’ Could Mean for You,” Kim Keister, March 1, 2013