MEDFORD, Ore. — Meri Walker is one of an estimated 58 million Americans collecting social security benefits this year. Walker said she recently learned how vital those checks are when she visited the social security office for the first time this week.
“Lots of difficulty in their lives. Not people that are slackers, not people that are trying to live off of anybody else, but people who have had difficult circumstances and they’ve paid into the social security system and they need it now,” said Walker.
Should the federal government shut down on October 1st, federal workers like those at the Medford social security office would not be around to help. Officials say the checks, however, would likely still be printed, based off what happened during a previous government shut down nearly twenty years ago.
“I think hopefully, lessons have been learned since that government shutdown in the 90′s and hopefully the plan that we hear is that there will be enough essential staff to make sure social security checks will continue to roll,” said director for senior and disability services Dave Toler.
While current social security recipients would continue to see a check those looking start collecting social security benefits might see delays.
“I think there’s a real possibility that you will be delayed and you will not be able to get on your social security as quickly as you would other wise,” said Toler.