Debt Crisis May Spell Trouble For Disability Benefits
People with disabilities could go without Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, benefits come August if lawmakers are unable to reach an agreement to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.
The U.S. is set to default on its debt obligations unless Congress acts to raise the nation’s borrowing limit by Aug. 2. Despite weeks of high-level negotiations between Republicans and Democrats in Washington, the two sides have yet to strike a deal with just one week remaining.
Should an agreement remain elusive, the U.S. Treasury will not have the funds to pay all of its obligations. And that could spell trouble for Americans with disabilities who rely on government benefits to make ends meet.
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When asked about the situation this weekend, President Barack Obama reaffirmed his warning from two weeks ago that payments from Social Security — which handles SSI benefits — could be at risk if no deal is struck.
“Well, when it comes to all the checks, not just Social Security — veterans, people with disabilities — about 70 million checks are sent out each month — if we default then we’re going to have to make adjustments. And I’m already consulting with (Treasury) Secretary Geithner in terms of what the consequences would be,” Obama told reporters.