Will Social Security Checks Be Paid If Debt Ceiling Is Not Raised
Around 28 million Americans are expecting to receive their Social Security checks on August 3, and 27 million are expecting their checks later in August. However, if Congress does not reach a deal to raise the national debt ceiling by the deadline of August 2, it is unknown if Social Security checks will be sent out. President Obama has warned Americans that the federal government may not be able to pay Social Security beneficiaries if a deal is not reached.
This is one of the few times Congress has failed to raise the debt ceiling when it has become necessary. Therefore, it is unclear what will happen if the debt limit is not raised by August 2. It is clear that the government will not be able to pay its bills in August. Estimates claim the government will be $134 billion short by the end of August.
Some have suggested that Social Security should use money from its trust fund to pay beneficiaries in August. However, Treasury Department officials do not support drawing from the trust fund. The trust fund holds IOUs, not actual money, that would have to be redeemed by the Treasury Department. Many Americans disagree and believe that President Obama can use the trust fund to make Social Security payments if necessary.
Tami Luhby, Debt Ceiling: Will I Get My Social Security Check?, https://money.cnn.com/2011/07/28/news/economy/debt_ceiling_social_security/index.htm?iid=HP_River (accessed July 29, 2011).