As the federal government teeters near the edge of another shutdown, you might wonder what it could mean for you if the slow gears grind to a halt.
Congress hasn’t adopted any appropriations bills before the new fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1. If it doesn’t meet the deadline by midnight Sept. 30 – or adopt a continuing resolution to buy more time – a shutdown is likely.
What could be affected during a shutdown?
- Social Security and Medicare: Payments would continue, but benefit verification and card issuance would stop.
- National parks: Some park gates remained open during the last government shutdown, but visitor services and maintenance stopped.
- Flights: Air traffic controllers and Transportation Security Administration officers worked through the last shutdown, but slowdowns were reported in airports.
- Mortgage and loans: The Internal Revenue Service would not verify Social Security numbers and income. In previous shutdowns, this created a backlog of loan approvals.
- Food inspections: The Food and Drug Administration delayed inspections during shutdowns.
- Supplemental Nutritional Assistance: Benefits were paid while carryover money was available in state and federal accounts.
- Border: Customs and border agents worked at crossings and ports of entry during previous shutdowns.