(Vocus/PRWEB) February 24, 2011
Breaking news from the nation’s capital that may have a direct impact on social security disability and veterans benefits was reported at 5:30 PM EST on Wednesday, February 23, 2011 by the New York Times. Disability Group, Inc., one of the country’s leading social security disability law firms, looks at the potential ramifications of a new bill proposal from House Republicans.
Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives have been engaged in budget negotiations for months, and as the deadline for compromise nears, the threat of a total government shutdown looms over the country. If Republicans and Democrats cannot agree on the 2012 fiscal year’s allocation of federal funding by midnight on March 4th, the government will be shut down.
A federal shutdown will have a number of serious effects on the American public. Potentially hundreds of thousands of federal workers could be forced to stay home without pay. The offices that process passport and visa applications could shut down, stranding untold numbers of Americans abroad. National parks and museums could close, resulting in the loss of desperately-needed tourism dollars for hundreds of communities.
Perhaps most critically, Social Security Administration and Veterans Affairs offices will close. The last time the federal government shut down, in 1995, more than 400,000 veterans’ payment checks were delayed, according to the New York Daily News. Even more veterans will be affected if offices shut down this March. The SSA, which is already experiencing a historic case backlog (socialsecuritylaw.com/blog/?p=269 [http://www.socialsecuritylaw.com/blog/?p=269 __title__ ]), will be unable to process new social security disability claims, and disabled workers who rely on their benefits may have to wait until the government reopens before receiving their payments.
The latest news from the Capitol may affect the situation. Carl Hulse of the New York Times reports that House Republicans have communicated to Senate Democrats that they will pass a temporary spending bill in order to keep the government running for an additional two weeks while the budget is negotiated further. However, the GOP stipulated that $4 billion in funding cuts already passed by the House will need to be instituted on an immediate and pro-rated basis.
The initial response from the Democrats is unfavorable. Jon Summers, a spokesman for Nevada Senator and majority leader Harry Reid, said that the bill “would simply be a two-week version of the reckless measure the House passed last weekend.” Summers was referring to the $61 billion in funding reductions passed by House Republicans, including significant reductions in funding to programs such as Women, Infants and Children (WIC), National Public Radio (NPR), Planned Parenthood, Head Start, greenhouse gas pollution regulations, and housing and heating subsidies for low-income citizens.
A vote on the bill may occur next week. Whether it passes or fails, both Democrats and Republicans hope to assign blame for a stall or a federal shutdown on the opposite party. Unless a compromise of some sort is reached, the possibility of the furlough of Social Security Disability benefits is becoming more real every day.
Disability Group Inc (http://www.socialsecuritylaw.com) was founded on the principles of dignity and respect. We are a national law firm focused exclusively on helping people receive the Social Security Disability benefits they deserve.