7 October 2013
By Damian Paletta
(blogs.WSJ.com) The Social Security Administration has begun warning the public it cannot guarantee full benefit payments if the debt ceiling isn’t increased.
When asked by the public, the agency is notifying beneficiaries that “Unlike a federal shutdown which has no impact on the payment of Social Security benefits, failure to raise the debt ceiling puts Social Security benefits at risk,” according to a person familiar with the agency directive.
The warning was assembled after the agency consulted with the Treasury Department, which would play a lead role in determining how the government handles payments if the borrowing limit isn’t raised soon.
“Our employees started receiving questions from the public, so the agency worked with Treasury to provide an answer they could use when asked about the debt ceiling by the public,” a Social Security Administration spokesman said.